For works with similar titles, see Endymion.
Endymion, The Man in the Moon  (1591) 
by John Lyly

Endymion, The Man in the Moon

A play written by John Lyly

Played before the Queen's Maieftie at Greenwich on Candlemas Day at night, by the Children of Paulus AT LONDON, Printed by I. Charleswood, for the widow Broome. 1591

Dramatis Personae:

Endymion, a handsome young man, who is in love with Cynthia

Samias, his page

Eumenides, a friend of Endymion

Dares, his page

Cynthia, the beautiful young immortal Moon-Queen, who loved Endymion

Floscula, her maidservant and Tellus's friend

Ladies-in-waiting at Cynthia's Royal Court

Tellus, the Earth goddess spurned by Endymion but loved by Corsites

Semele, a shrewish maiden who once loved By Eumenides

Attendants at Cynthia's Royal Court

Pythagoras, a Greek philosopher

Gyptes, an Egyptian soothsayer

Lords at Cynthia's Royal Court

Panelion, Zontes

Sir Tophas, a braggart

Epiton, his page

Dipsas, an aged sorceress

Bagoa, a young sorceress, a assistant to Dipsas

Geron, a wise old man, the estranged husband of Dipsas

Servant girls

Scintilla, Favilla} Cynthia's royal handmaidens-in-waiting

Three ladies and an ancient man, in a dumb show

Corsites, a captain of the Moon-Queen Cynthia's bodyguards, in love with Tellus

The Two Watchmen and a Constable

The Four Fairies

Scene: At or near the Royal Court of Cynthia

[The date alluded to on the title page (above) is Friday, February 2nd, 1588 A.D.]


Most high and happy princess, we must tell you a tale of the Man in the Moon, which if it seem ridiculous for the method, or superfluous for the matter, or for the means incredible, for three faults we can make but one excuse: it is a tale of the Man in the Moon.

It was forbidden in old time to dispute of chimaera, because it was a fiction. We hope in our times none will apply pastimes, because they are fancies; for there liveth none under the sun that knows what to make of the Man in the Moon. We present neither comedy, nor tragedy, nor story, nor anything, but ... that whosoever heareth may say this: 'Why, here is a tale of the Man in the Moon'.


Scene I. 1

The Royal Tropical Gardens of Cynthia's Palace

[Enter Endymion and Eumenides.]

ENDYMION: I find, Eumenides, in all things both variety to content and satiety to glut, saving only in my affections, which are so stayed, and withal so stately, that I can neither satisfy my heart with love nor mine eyes with wonder. My thoughts, Eumenides, are stitched to the stars, which being as high as I can see, thou may'st imagine how much higher they are than I can reach.

EUMENIDES: If you be enamored of anything above the moon, your thoughts are ridiculous; for that the things immortal are not subject to affections. If allured or enchanted with these transitory things under the moon, you show yourself senseless to attribute such lofty titles to such low trifles.

ENDYMION: My love is placed neither under the moon nor above.

EUMENIDES: I hope you be not sotted upon the Man in the Moon.

ENDYMION: No, but settled either to die or possess the moon herself.

EUMENIDES: Is Endymion mad, or do I mistake? Do you love the moon, Endymion?

ENDYMION: Eumenides, the moon.

EUMENIDES: There was never any so peevish to imagine the moon either capable of affection or shape of a mistress; for as impossible it is to make love fit to her humor, which no man knoweth, as a coat to her form, which continueth not in one bigness whilst she is measuring. Cease off, Endymion, to feed so much upon fancies. That melancholy blood must be purged which draweth you to a dotage no less miserable than monstrous.

ENDYMION: My thoughts have no veins, and yet, unless they be let blood, I shall perish.

EUMENIDES: But they have vanities which, being reformed, you may be restored.

ENDYMION: O fair Cynthia, why do others term thee unconstant whom I have ever found unmovable? Injurious time, corrupt manners, unkind men, who, finding a constancy not to be matched in my sweet mistress, have christened her with the name of wavering, waxing, and waning! Is she inconstant that keepeth a settled course, which since her first creation altereth not one minute in her moving? There is nothing thought more admirable or commendable in the sea than the ebbing and flowing; and shall the moon, from whom the sea taketh this virtue, be accounted fickle for increasing and decreasing? Flowers in their buds are nothing worth until they be blown, nor blossoms accounted till they be ripe fruit; and shall we then say they be changeable for that they grow from the seeds to the leaves, from the leaves to the buds, from the buds to their perfection? Then why be not the twigs that become the trees, the children that become men and women, and mornings that grow to evenings termed wavering, for that they continue not at one stay? Ay, but Cynthia, being in her fullness, decayeth, as not delighting in her greatest beauty, or withering when she should be most honored. When malice cannot object anything, folly will, making that a vice which is the greatest virtue. What thing (my mistress accepted) being in the pride of her beauty and latter minute of her age, that waxeth young again? Tell me, Eumenides, what is he that, having a mistress of ripe years and infinite virtues, great honors and unspeakable beauty; but would wish that she might grow tender again, getting youth by years and never-decaying beauty by time, whose fair face neither the summer's blaze can scorch nor winter's blast chap, nor the numbering of years breed altering of colors? Such is my sweet Cynthia, whom time cannot touch because she is divine nor will offend because she is delicate. O Cynthia, if thou shouldst always continue at thy fullness, both gods and men would conspire to ravish thee. But thou, to abate the pride of our affections, dost detract from thy perfections, thinking it sufficient if once in a month we enjoy a glimpse of thy majesty; and then, to increase our grieves, thou dost decrease thy gleams, coming out of thy royal robes, wherewith thou dazzlest our eyes down into thy swath clouts, beguiling our eyes. And then —

EUMENIDES: Stay there, Endymion. Thou that committest idolatry wilt straight blaspheme if thou be suffered. Sleep would do thee more good than speech. The moon heareth thee not; or if she do, regardeth thee not.

ENDYMION: Vain Eumenides, whose thoughts never grow higher than the crown of thy head! Why troublest thou me, having neither head to conceive the cause of my love or a heart to receive the impressions? Follow thou thine own fortunes, which creep upon the earth, and suffer me to fly to mine, whose fall, though it be desperate, yet shall it come by daring. Farewell. [Exit Endymion.]

EUMENIDES: Without doubt Endymion is bewitched; otherwise in a man of such rare virtues there could not harbor a mind of such extreme madness. I will follow him, lest in this fancy of the moon he deprive himself of the sight of the sun. [Exit Eumenides.]

Scene I. 2

The Royal Tropical Gardens of Cynthia's Palace

[Enter Tellus and Floscula.]

TELLUS: Treacherous and most perjured Endymion, is Cynthia the sweetness of thy life and the bitterness of my death? What revenge may be devised so full of shame as my thoughts are replenished with malice? Tell me, Floscula, if falseness in love can possibly be punished with extremity of hate. As long as a sword, fire or poison may be hired, no traitor to my love shall live unrevenged. Were thy oaths without number, thy kisses without measure, thy sighs without end, forged to deceive a poor credulous virgin whose simplicity had been worth thy favor and better fortune? If the gods sit unequal beholders of injuries or laughers at lovers' deceits, then let mischief be as well forgiven in women as perjury winked at in men.

FLOSCULA: Madam, if you would compare the state of Cynthia with your own, and the height of Endymion his thoughts with the meanness of your fortune, you would rather yield than contend, being between you and her no comparison, and rather wonder than rage at the greatness of his mind, being affected with a thing more than mortal.

TELLUS: No comparison, Floscula? And why so? Is not my beauty divine, whose body is decked with fair flowers, and veins are vines, yielding sweet liquor to the dullest spirits? Whose ears are corn to bring strength, and whose hairs are grass to bring abundance? Doth not frankincense and myrrh breathe out of my nostrils, and all the sacrifice of the gods breed in my bowels? Infinite are my creatures, without which neither thou nor Endymion nor any could love or live.

FLOSCULA: But know you not, fair lady, that Cynthia governeth all things? Your grapes would be but dry husks, your corn but chaff, and all your virtues vain were it not Cynthia that preserveth the one in the bud and nourisheth the other in the blade, and by her influence both comforteth all things and by her authority commandeth all creatures. Suffer then Endymion to follow his affections, though to obtain her be impossible, and let him flatter himself in his own imaginations, because they are immortal.

TELLUS: Loath I am, Endymion, that thou shouldst die, because I love thee well, and that thou shouldst live it grieveth me, because thou lovest Cynthia too well. In these extremities what shall I do? Floscula, no more words. I am resolved: he shall neither live nor die.

FLOSCULA: A strange practice, if it be possible.

TELLUS: Yes. I will entangle him in such a sweet net that he shall neither find the means to come out nor desire it. All allurements of pleasure will I cast before his eyes, insomuch that he shall slake that love which he now voweth to Cynthia and burn in mine, of which he seemeth careless. In this languishing between my amorous devices and his own loose desires, there shall such dissolute thoughts take root in his head, and over his heart grow so thick a skin, that neither hope of preferment nor fear of punishment, nor counsel of the wisest nor company of the worthiest shall alter his humor, nor make him once think of his honor.

FLOSCULA: A revenge incredible, and if it may be, unnatural.

TELLUS: He shall know the malice of a woman to have neither mean nor end, and of a woman deluded in love to have neither rule nor reason. I can do it, I must; I will. All his virtues will I shadow with vices; his person — ah, sweet person! — shall he deck with such rich robes as he shall forget it is his own person; his sharp wit — ah, wit too sharp, that hath cut off all my joys! — shall he use in flattering of my face and devising sonnets in my favor. The prime of his youth and pride of his time shall be spent in melancholy passions, careless behavior, untamed thoughts, and unbridled affections.

FLOSCULA: When this is done, what then? Shall it continue until his death, or shall he dote forever in this delight?

TELLUS: Ah, Floscula, thou rendest my heart in sunder, in putting me in remembrance of the end.

FLOSCULA: Why, if this be not the end, all the rest is to no end.

TELLUS: Yet suffer me to imitate Juno, who would turn Jupiter's lovers to beasts on the earth, though she knew afterwards they should be stars in heaven.

FLOSCULA: Affection that is bred by enchantment is like a flower that is wrought in silk: in color and form most like, but nothing at all in substance or savor.

TELLUS: It shall suffice me, if the world talk, that I am favored of Endymion.

FLOSCULA: Well, use your own will, but you shall find that love gotten with witchcraft is as unpleasant as fish taken with medicines unwholesome.

TELLUS: Floscula, they that be so poor that they have neither a net nor a hook will rather poison the dough than pine with hunger; and she that is so oppressed with love that she is neither able with beauty nor wit to obtain her friend will rather use unlawful means than try un-tolerable pains. I will do it.

[Exit Tellus.]

FLOSCULA: Then about it. Poor Endymion, what traps are laid for thee because thou honorest the one that all the world wondereth at! And what plots are cast to make thee unfortunate that studies of all men to be the faithfullest!

[Exit Floscula.]

Scene I.3

The Royal Tropical Gardens of Cynthia's Palace

[Enter Dares and Samias.]

DARES: Now our masters are in love up to the ears, what have we to do but to be in knavery up to the crowns?

SAMIAS: O, that we had Sir Tophas, that brave squire, in the midst of our mirth — and ecce autem, will you see the devil!

[Enter Sir Tophas and Epiton.]

TOPHAS: Epiton?

EPITON: Here sir.

TOPHAS: I brook not this idle humor of love. It tickleth not my liver, from whence the love-mongers in former ages seemed to infer it should proceed.

EPITON: Love, sir, may lie in your lungs, and I think it doth; and that is the cause you blow and are so pursy.

TOPHAS: Tush, boy, I think it but some device of the poet to get money.

EPITON: A poet? What's that?

TOPHAS: Dost thou not know what a poet is?


TOPHAS: Why fool, a poet is as much as one should say, a poet. [Discovering Samias and Dares.] But soft, yonder be two wrens. Shall I shoot at them?

EPITON: They are two lads.

TOPHAS: Larks or wrens, I will kill them.

EPITON: Larks? Are you blind? They are two little boys.

TOPHAS: Birds or boys, they are both but a pittance for my breakfast. Therefore have at them, for their brains must, as it were, embroider my bolts.

[He takes aim at Samias and Dares.]

SAMIAS: [To Sir Tophas.] Stay your courage, valiant knight, for your wisdom is so weary that it stayeth itself.

DARES: Why, Sir Tophas, have you forgotten your old friends?

TOPHAS: Friends? Nego argumentum.

SAMIAS: And why not friends?

TOPHAS: Because, amicitia, as in old annals we find, is inter pares. Now my pretty companions, you shall see how unequal you be to me. But I will not cut you quite off; you shall be my half-friends, for reaching to my middle. So far as from the ground to the waist, I will be your friend.

DARES: Learnedly. But what shall become of the rest of your body, from the waist to the crown?

TOPHAS: My children, quod supra vos nihil ad vos, you must think the rest immortal because you cannot reach it.

EPITON: [To Samias and Dares.] Nay, I tell ye, my master is more than a man.

DARES: [To Epiton.] And thou less than a mouse.

TOPHAS: But what be you two?

SAMIAS: I am Samias, a page to Endymion.

DARES: And I am Dares, a page to Eumenides.

TOPHAS: Of what occupation are your masters?

DARES: Occupation, you clown? Why, they are honorable, and warriors.

TOPHAS: Then they are my prentices.

DARES: Thine? And why so?

TOPHAS: I was the first that ever devised war, and therefore by Mars himself given me for my arms a whole armory, and thus I go as you see, clothed with artillery. It is not the silks (milksops), nor the tissues, nor the fine wool of Seres, but the iron, steel, swords, flame, shot, terror, clamor, blood, and ruin, so that they rocks asleep my thoughts, which never had any other cradle but cruelty. Let me see, do you not bleed?

DARES: Why so?

TOPHAS: Commonly my words wound.

SAMIAS: What then do your blows?

TOPHAS: Not only wound, but also confound.

SAMIAS: [To Epiton.] How darest thou come so near thy master, Epiton? [To Sir Tophas.] Sir Tophas, spare us.

TOPHAS: You shall live. You, Samias, because you are little; you, Dares because you are no bigger; and both of you, because you are but two; for commonly I kill by the dozen, and have for every particular adversary a peculiar weapon. [He displays his armory.]

SAMIAS: May we know the use, for our better skill in war?

TOPHAS: You shall. Here is bird-bolt for the ugly beast, the blackbird.

DARES: A cruel sight.

TOPHAS: Here is the musket for the untamed, or (as the vulgar sort term it) the wild mallard. [He demonstrates, not heeding their talk.]

SAMIAS: O desperate attempt!

EPITON: Nay, my master will match them.

DARES: Ay, if he catch them.

TOPHAS: Here is spear and shield, and both necessary: the one to conquer, the other to subdue or overcome the terrible trout, which, although he be under the water, yet tying a string to the top of my spear and an engine of iron to the end of my line, I overthrow him, and then herein I put him. [He shows his gear and struts about, oblivious to their talk.]

SAMIAS: O wonderful war! [Aside.] Dares, didst thou ever hear such a dolt?

DARES: [Aside.] All the better. We shall have good sport hereafter if we can get leisure.

SAMIAS: [Aside.] Leisure! I will rather lose my master's service then his company. Look how he struts. [To Sir Tophas.] But what is this; call you it your sword?

TOPHAS: No, it is my scimitar, which I, by construction often studying to be compendious, call my smiter.

DARES: What -- are you also learned, sir?

TOPHAS: Learned? I am all Mars and Ares.

SAMIAS: Nay, you are all mass and lass.

TOPHAS: Mock you me? You shall both suffer; yet with such weapons as you shall make choice of the weapon wherewith you shall perish. Am I all a mass or lump; is there no proportion in me? Am I all ass; is there no wit in me? -- Epiton, prepare them to the slaughter.

SAMIAS: I pray sir, hear us speak. We call you 'mass', which your learning doth well understand is all 'man', for mas, maris, is a man. Then 'as', as you know, is a weight; and we for your virtues account you a weight.

TOPHAS: The Latin hath saved your lives, the which a world of silver could not have ransomed. I understand you and pardon you.

DARES: Well, Sir Tophas, we bid you farewell; and at our next meeting we will be ready to do you service.

TOPHAS: Samias, I thank you; Dares, I thank you. But especially I thank you both.

SAMIAS: Wisely. [Aside.] Come, next time we'll have some pretty gentlewomen with us to walk, for without doubt with them he will be very dainty.

DARES: [To Samias.] Come, let us see what our masters do; it is high time. [Exeunt Dares and Samias.]

TOPHAS: Now will I march into the field, where, if I cannot encounter with my foul enemies, I will withdraw myself to the river and there fortify for fish; for there resteth no minute free from fight.

[Exeunt Sir Tophas and Epiton.]

Scene I.4

The Royal Tropical Gardens of Cynthia's Palace

[Enter Tellus and Floscula at one door; enter Dipsas at another door.]

TELLUS: Behold, Floscula, we have met with the woman by chance that we sought for by travel. I will break my mind to her without ceremony or circumstance, lest we lose that time in advice that should be spent in execution.

FLOSCULA: Use your discretion. I will in this case neither give counsel nor consent; for there cannot be a thing more monstrous than to force affection by sorcery, neither do I imagine anything more impossible.

TELLUS: Tush, Floscula, in obtaining of love what impossibilities will I not try? And for the winning of Endymion, what impieties will I not practice? [Crossing to Dipsas.] Dipsas, whom as many honor for age as wonder at for cunning, listen in few words to my tale and answer in one word to the purpose, for that neither my burning desire can afford long speech nor the short time I have to stay, many delays. Is it possible by herbs, stones, spells, incantation, enchantment, exorcisms, fire, metals, planets or any practice, to plant affection where it is not and to supplant it where it is?

DIPSAS: Fair lady, you may imagine that these hoary hairs are not void of experience, nor the great name that goeth of my cunning to be without cause. I can darken the sun by my skill and remove the moon out of her course; I can restore youth to the aged and make the hills without bottoms. There is nothing I cannot do but that only which you would have me do, and therein I differ from the gods, that I am not able to rule hearts; for, were it in my power to place affection by my appointment, I would make such evil appetites, such inordinate lusts, such cursed desires as all the world should be filled both with superstitious heats and extreme love.

TELLUS: Unhappy Tellus, whose desires are so desperate that they are neither to be conceived of any creature nor to be cured by any art!

DIPSAS: This I can: breed slackness in love though never root it out. What is he whom you love, and what she that he honoreth?

TELLUS: Endymion, sweet Endymion, is he that hath my heart; and Cynthia, too, too fair Cynthia, the miracle of nature, of time, of fortune, is the lady that he delights in, and dotes on every day and dies for ten thousand times a day.

DIPSAS: Would you have his love either by absence or sickness, tasked? Would you that Cynthia should mistrust him, or be jealous of him without color?

TELLUS: It is the only thing I crave, that seeing my love to Endymion, unspotted, cannot be accepted, his truth to Cynthia, though it be unspeakable, may be suspected.

DIPSAS: I will undertake it and overtake him, that all his love shall be doubted of and therefore become desperate. But this will wear out with time, that treadeth all things down but truth.

TELLUS: Let us go.

DIPSAS: I follow. [Exeunt all.]


Scene II.1

The Royal Tropical Gardens of Cynthia's Palace

[Enter Endymion.]

ENDYMION: [Kneeling happily on the ground with jeweled hands clasped in a prayer while gazing loving upon the Moon.] O fair Cynthia; oh unfortunate Endymion! Why was not thy birth as high as thy thoughts, or her beauty less than heavenly? Or why are not thine honors as rare as her beauty or thy fortunes as great as thy deserts? Sweet Cynthia, how wouldst thou be pleased, how possessed? Will labors, patient of all extremities, obtain thy love? There is no mountain so steep that I will not climb, no monster so cruel that I will not tame, no action so desperate that I will not attempt. Desirest thou the passions of love, the sad and melancholy moods of perplexed minds, the not-to-be-expressed torments of racked thoughts? Behold my sad tears, my deep sighs, my hollow eyes, my broken sleeps, my heavy countenance. Wouldst thou have me vowed only to thy beauty and consume every minute of time in thy service? Remember my solitary life, almost these seven years. Whom have I entertained but mine own thoughts and thy virtues? What company have I used but contemplation? Whom have I wondered at but thee? Nay, whom have I not contemned for thee? Have I not crept to those on whom I might have trodden, only because thou didst shine upon them? Have not injuries been sweet to me if thou vouchsafest I should bear them? Have I not spent my golden years in hopes, waxing old with wishing, yet wishing nothing but thy love? [Looking at the flowers, fruits and all the other exotic tropical plants gathered in the grove.] With Tellus, fair Tellus, have I dissembled, using her but as a cloak for mine affections, that others, seeing my mangled and disordered mind, might think it were for the one that loveth me, not for Cynthia, whose perfection alloweth no companion nor comparison. In the midst of these distempered thoughts of mine, thou art not only jealous of my truth, but careless, suspicious, and secure, which strange humor maketh my mind as desperate as thy conceits are doubtful. I am none of those wolves that bark most when thou shinest brightest, but that fish — thy fish, Cynthia, in the flood Araris — which at thy waxing is as white as the driven snow and at thy waning as black as deepest darkness. I am that Endymion, sweet Cynthia, that have carried my thoughts in equal balance with my actions, being always as free from imagining ill as enterprising: that Endymion whose eyes never esteemed anything fair but thy face, whose tongue termed nothing rare but thy virtues, and whose heart imagined nothing miraculous but thy government; yea, that Endymion who, divorcing himself from the amiableness of all ladies, the bravery of all courts, the company of all men, hath chosen in a solitary cell to live only by feeding on thy favor, accounting in the world, but thyself, nothing excellent, nothing immortal. Thus mayest thou see every vein, sinew, muscle, and artery of my love, in which there is no flattery nor deceit, error nor art. [Angrily turning his head around to sense the presences of Tellus, Dipsas, and Floscula, who vainly approaches him unaware.] But soft, here cometh Tellus. I must turn my other face to her like Janus, lest she be as suspicious as Juno. [He quickly raises himself up and begins to run away.]

[Enter Tellus, Floscula and Dipsas.]

TELLUS: Yonder I espy Endymion. I will seem to suspect nothing, but soothe him, that seeing I cannot obtain the depth of his love, I may learn the height of his dissembling. Floscula and Dipsas, withdraw yourselves out of our sight, yet be within the hearing of our saluting. [Floscula and Dipsas withdraw.] How now, Endymion, always solitary? No company but your own thoughts; no friend but melancholy fancies?

ENDYMION: You know, fair Tellus, that the sweet remembrance of your love is the only companion of my life, and thy presence my paradise, so that I am not alone when nobody is with me and in heaven itself when thou art with me.

TELLUS: Then you love me, Endymion?

ENDYMION: [Scoffed with a cold shoulder.] Or else I live not, Tellus.

TELLUS: Is it not possible for you, Endymion, to dissemble?

ENDYMION: Not, Tellus, unless I could make me a woman.

TELLUS: Why, is dissembling joined to their sex inseparable, as heat to fire, heaviness to earth, moisture to water, and thinness to air?

ENDYMION: No, but found in their sex as common as the spots upon the doves, the moles upon the faces, the caterpillars upon the sweet apples, the cobwebs upon the fair windows.

TELLUS: Do they all dissemble?

ENDYMION: All but one.

TELLUS: Who is that?

ENDYMION: [Laughing at her with mockery.] I dare not tell. For if I should say you, then would you imagine my flattery to be extreme; if another, then would you think my love to be but indifferent.

TELLUS: [Frowning at Endymion and sounded suspicious.] You will be sure I shall take no vantage of your words. But in sooth, Endymion, without more ceremonies: is it not Cynthia?

ENDYMION: [Winced around and scolded at Tellus in fury.] You know, Tellus, that of the gods we are forbidden to dispute, because their deities come not within the compass of our reasons; and of Cynthia we are allowed not to talk but to wonder, because her virtues are not within the reach of our capacities.

TELLUS: Why, she is but a woman.

ENDYMION: No more was Venus.

TELLUS: She is but a virgin.

ENDYMION: No more was Vesta.

TELLUS: She shall have an end.

ENDYMION: So shall the world.

TELLUS: Is not her beauty subject to time?

ENDYMION: No more than time is to standing still.

TELLUS: Wilt thou make her immortal?

ENDYMION: [Lying to her.] No, but incomparable.

TELLUS: Take heed, Endymion, lest like the wrestler in Olympia that, striving to lift an impossible weight, and catches an incurable strain, thou by fixing thy thoughts above thy reach fall into a disease without all re-cure. But I see that thou art now in love with Cynthia. [Exeunt Tellus broken-heartedly.]

ENDYMION: No, Tellus, thou knowest that the stately cedar, whose top reacheth unto the clouds, never boweth his head to the shrubs that grow in the valley; nor ivy, that climbeth up by the elm can ever get hold of the beams of the sun. Cynthia I honor in all humility, whom none ought or dare adventure to love, whose affections are immortal and virtues infinite. Suffer me, therefore, to gaze on the moon, at whom, were it not for thyself, I would die with wondering. [Exeunt Endymion who stomped away in fury.]

Scene II.2

[Enter Dares, Samias, Scintilla and Favilla.]

DARES: Come, Samias, didst thou ever hear such a sighing, the one for Cynthia, the other for Semele, and both for moonshine in the water?

SAMIAS: Let them sigh, and let us sing. -- How say you, gentlewomen, are not our masters too far in love?

SCINTILLA: Their tongues haply are dipped to the root in amorous words and sweet discourses, but I think their hearts are scarce tipped on the side with constant desires.

DARES: How say you Favilla, is not love a lurcher, that taketh men's stomachs away that they cannot eat, their spleen that they cannot laugh, their hearts that they cannot fight, their eyes that they cannot sleep; and leaveth nothing but livers to make nothing but lovers?

FAVILLA: Away, peevish boy. A rod were better under thy girdle than love in thy mouth. It will be a forward cock that croweth in the shell.

DARES: Alas, good old gentlewoman, how it becometh you to be grave!

SCINTILLA: Favilla, though she be but a spark, yet it is she the fire.

FAVILLA: And you Scintilla, be not much more than a spark, though you would be esteemed a flame.

SAMIAS: [Aside to Dares.] It were good sport to see the fight between the two sparks.

DARES: [Aside to Samias.] Let them to it, and we will warm us by their words.

SCINTILLA: You are not angry, Favilla?

FAVILLA: That is, Scintilla, as you list to take it.

SAMIAS: That, that!

SCINTILLA: This it is to be matched with girls, who, coming but yesterday from the making of the babies, would before tomorrow be the accounted matrons.

FAVILLA: I cry your matronship mercy. Because your pantofles be higher with cork, therefore your feet must needs be higher in the insteps. You will be mine elder because you stand upon a stool and I on the floor.

SAMIAS: Good, good.

DARES: [Aside to Samias.] Let them alone, and see with what countenance they will become friends.

SCINTILLA: [To Favilla.] Nay, you think to be the wiser, because you mean to have the last word.

[The women threaten each other.]

SAMIAS: [To Dares.] Step between them lest they scratch. [To Scintilla and Favilla.] In faith, gentlewomen, seeing we came out to be merry, let not your jarring mar our jests. Be friends. How say you?

SCINTILLA: I am not angry, but it spited me to see how short she was.

FAVILLA: I meant nothing till she would needs cross me.

DARES: Then so let it rest.

SCINTILLA: I am agreed.

FAVILLA: [Weeping.] And I, yet I never took anything so unkindly in all my life.

SCINTILLA: [Weeping.] 'Tis I have the cause, that never offered the occasion.

DARES: Excellent, and right like a woman.

SAMIAS: A strange sight, to see water come out of fire.

DARES: It is their property to carry in their eyes fire and water, tears and torches, and in their mouths, honey and gall.

SCINTILLA: You will be a good one if you live. But what is yonder formal fellow?

[Enter Sir Tophas and Epiton.]

DARES: [Aside, to his friends.] Sir Tophas, Sir Tophas of whom we told you. If you be good wenches, make as thou you love him and wonder at him.

FAVILLA: We will do our parts.

DARES: But first let us stand aside and let him use his garb, for all consisteth in his gracing.

                                                                                                                                                             [The pages and maids-in-waiting stand aside.]

TOPHAS: Epiton!

EPITON: At hand, sir.

TOPHAS: How likest thou this martial life, where nothing but blood besprinkleth our bosoms? Let me see, be our enemies fat?

EPITON: Passing fat. And I would not change this life to be a lord, and yourself passeth all comparison; for other captains kill and beat, and there is nothing you kill but you also eat.

TOPHAS: I will draw out their guts out of their bellies, and tear the flesh with my teeth, so mortal is my hate and so eager my unstaunched stomach.

EPITON: [Aside.] My master thinks himself the valiantest man in the world if he kill a wren, so warlike a thing he accounteth to take away life, though it be from a lark.

TOPHAS: Epiton, I find my thoughts to swell and my spirit to take wings, insomuch that I cannot continue within the compass of so slender combats.

FAVILLA: [Aside.] This passeth!

SCINTILLA: [Aside.] Why, is he not mad?

SAMIAS: [Aside.] No, but a little vainglorious.

TOPHAS: Epiton!


TOPHAS: I will encounter that black and cruel enemy that beareth the rough and untewed locks upon his body, whose sire throweth down the strongest walls, whose legs are as many as both ours, on whose head are placed the most horrible horns by nature as a defense from all harms.

EPITON: What mean you, master, to be so desperate?

TOPHAS: Honor inciteth me, and very hunger compelleth me.

EPITON: What is that monster?

TOPHAS: The monster ovis. I have said: let thy wits work.

EPITON: I cannot imagine it. Yet let me see. A black enemy with rough locks -- it may be a sheep, and ovis is a sheep. His sire so strong -- a ram is a sheep's sire, that being also an engine of war. Horns he hath, and four legs -- so hath a sheep. Without doubt this monster is a black sheep. Is it not a sheep that you mean?

TOPHAS: Thou has hit it; that monster will I kill and sup with.

SAMIAS: [To his friends.] Come, let us take him off. [The pages and maids come forward.] [Turning to see Sir Tophas.] Sir Tophas, all hail!

TOPHAS: Welcome children. I seldom cast mine eyes so low as to the crowns of your heads, and therefore pardon me that I spake not all this while.

DARES: No harm done. Here be fair ladies come to wonder at your person, your valor, your wit, the report whereof hath made them careless of their own honors, to glut their eyes and hearts upon yours.

TOPHAS: Report cannot but injure me, for that, not knowing fully what I am, I fear she hath been a niggard in her praises.

SCINTILLA: No, gentle knight. Report hath been prodigal, for she hath left you no equal, nor herself credit. So much hath she told, yet no more than we now see.

DARES: [Aside.] A good wench.

FAVILLA: If there remain as much pity toward women as there is in you courage against your enemies, then shall we be happy, who, hearing of your person, came to see it; and seeing it, are now in love with it.

TOPHAS: Love me, ladies? I easily believe it, but my tough heart receiveth no impression with sweet words. Mars may pierce it; Venus shall not paint on it.

FAVILLA: A cruel saying.

SAMIAS: [Aside.] There's a girl.

DARES: [To Sir Tophas.] Will you cast these ladies away, and all for a little love? Do but speak kindly.

TOPHAS: There cometh no soft syllable within my lips. Custom hath made my words bloody and my heart barbarous. That pelting word 'love', how waterish it is in my mouth! It carrieth no sound. Hate, horror, death are speeches that nourish my spirits. I like honey, but I care not for the bees; I delight in music, but I love not to play on the bagpipes; I can vouchsafe to hear the voice of women, but to touch their bodies I disdain it as a thing childish and fit for such men as can digest nothing but milk.

SCINTILLA: A hard heart. Shall we die for your love and find no remedy?

TOPHAS: I have already taken a surfeit.

EPITON: Good master, pity them.

TOPHAS: Pity them, Epiton? No, I do not think that this breast shall be pestered with such a foolish passion. What is that the gentlewoman carrieth in a chain?

EPITON: Why, it is a squirrel.

TOPHAS: A squirrel? O gods, what things are made for money!

[The pages and maids speak confidentially to each other.]

DARES: Is not this gentleman over-wise?

FAVILLA: I could stay all day with him if I feared not to be shent.

SCINTILLA: Is it not possible to meet again?

DARES: Yes, at any time.

FAVILLA: Then let us hasten home.

SCINTILLA: [Aloud.] Sir Tophas, the god of war deal better with you than you do with the god of love.

FAVILLA: Our love we may dissemble; digest we cannot; but I doubt not but time will hamper you and help us.

TOPHAS: I defy time, who hath no interest in my heart. -- Come, Epiton, let me to the battle with that hideous beast. Love is pap, and hath no relish in my taste because it is not terrible.

                                                                                                                                                                [Exeunt Sir Tophas and Epiton.]

DARES: Indeed, a black sheep is a perilous beast. But let us until another time.

FAVILLA: I shall long for that time.

[Exeunt all.]

Scene II.3

The Sacred Grove of Cynthia's Palace

[Enter Endymion, meditating in a Buddha style near the lunary bank, and (vainly unseen by him) Dipsas and Bagoa.]

ENDYMION: No rest, Endymion? Still uncertain how to settle thy steps by day or thy thoughts by night? Thy truth is measured by thy fortune, and thou art judged unfaithful because thou art unhappy. I will see if I can beguile myself with sleep; and, if no slumber will take hold in my eyes, yet will I embrace the golden thoughts in my head and wish to melt by musing, that as ebony, which no fire can scorch, is yet consumed with sweet savors, so my heart, which cannot be bent by the hardness of fortune, may be bruised by amorous desires. On yonder bank never grew anything but lunary, and hereafter I will never have any bed but that bank. O Endymion, Tellus was fair! But what availeth beauty without wisdom? Nay, Endymion, she was wise. But what availeth wisdom without honor? She was honorable, Endymion, belie her not. Ay, but how obscure is honor without fortune? Was she not fortunate whom so many followed? Yes, yes, but base is fortune without majesty. Thy majesty, Cynthia, all the world knoweth and wondereth at, but not one in the world that can imitate it or comprehend it. No more, Endymion. Sleep or die. Nay, die, for to sleep it is impossible; and yet (I know not how it cometh to pass) I feel such a heaviness both in mine eyes and heart that I am suddenly benumbed, yea, in every joint. It may be weariness, for when did I rest? It may be deep melancholy, for when did I not sigh? Cynthia, ay so, I say Cynthia!

[He falls asleep.]

DIPSAS: [Advancing.] Little dost thou know, Endymion, when thou shalt wake, for, hadst placed thy heart as low in love as thy head lieth now in sleep, thou mightest have commanded Tellus, whom now instead of a mistress thou shalt find a tomb. These eyes must I seal up by my art, not the nature, which are to be opened neither by my art nor the nature. Thou that layest down with golden locks shalt not wake until they be turned to silver hairs; and that chin, on which scarcely appeareth soft down, shall be filled with bristles as hard as broom. Thou shalt sleep out thy youth and flowering time and become dry hay before thou knowest thyself green grass, and ready by age to step into the grave when thou wakest, that was youthful in the court when thou laidst thee down to sleep. The malice of Tellus hath brought this to pass, which if she could not have entreated of me by fair means, she would have commanded by menacing; for from her gather we all our simples to maintain our sorceries. [Turning to see Bagoa.] Fan with this hemlock over his face and sing the enchantment for sleep, whilst I go and finish those ceremonies that are required in our art. Take heed ye touch not his face, for the fan is so seasoned that whoso it toucheth with a leaf shall presently die. And over whom the wind of it breatheth, he shall sleep forever.

[Exit Dipsas.]

BAGOA: Let me alone, I will be careful.

[She kindly fans Endymion as she sings happily.]

What hap hadst thou, Endymion, to come under the hands of Dipsas? O fair Endymion, how it grieveth me that that fair face must be turned to a withered skin and taste the pains of death before it feel the reward of love! I fear Tellus will repent that which the heavens themselves seemed to rue. — But I hear Dipsas coming. I dare not repine, lest she make me pine, and rock me into such a deep sleep that I shall not awake to my marriage.

[Re-enter Dipsas again.]

DIPSAS: How now; have you finished?


DIPSAS: Well, then, let us in, and see that you do not so much as whisper that I did this; for if you do, I will turn thy hairs to the adders and all thy teeth in thy head to tongues. Come away, come away.

[Exeunt Dipsas and Bagoa. (Leaving Endymion).]

A Dumb Show

Music sounds. Three Ladies enter, one with a knife and a looking glass who, by the procurement of one of the other two, offers to stab Endymion as he sleeps, but the third wrings her hands, lamenteth, offering still to prevent it, but dares not. At last the first lady, looking in the glass, casts down the knife. Exeunt the ladies. Enters an ancient man with books that are being filled with the three leaves. He offers the same twice. Endymion refuseth. (The old man) rendeth two of them and offers the third, where he stands a while, and then Endymion offers to take it. Exit the man; Endymion remains sleeping on the lunary bank, curtained off from view.


Scene III.1

The Royal Tropical Gardens of Cynthia's Palace

[Enter Cynthia, Tellus, Semele, Eumenides, Corsites, Panelion and Zontes.]

CYNTHIA: Is the report true that Endymion is stricken into such a dead sleep that nothing can either wake him or move him?

EUMENIDES: Too true madam, and as much to be pitied as wondered at.

TELLUS: As good sleep and do no harm as wake and do no good.

CYNTHIA: What maketh you, Tellus, to be so short? The time was, Endymion only was.

EUMENIDES: It is an old saying madam, that a waking dog doth afar off bark at a sleeping lion.

SEMELE: It were good, Eumenides, that you took a nap with your friend, for your speech beginneth to be heavy.

EUMENIDES: Contrary to your nature, Semele, which hath been always accounted light.

CYNTHIA: What, hath we here before my face these unseemly and malapert overthwarts? I will tame your tongues and your thoughts, and make your speeches answerable to your duties and your conceits fit for my dignity; else will I banish you both my person and the world.

EUMENIDES: Pardon I humbly ask; but such is my unspotted faith to Endymion that whatsoever seemeth a needle to prick his finger is a dagger to wound my heart.

CYNTHIA: If you be so dear to him, how happeneth it you neither go to see him nor search for remedy for him?

EUMENIDES: I have seen him, to my grief, and sought re-cure with despair, for that I cannot imagine who should restore him that is the wonder to all men. Your Highness, on whose hands the compass of the earth is at command (though not in possession), may show yourself both worthy your sex, your nature and your favor, if you redeem that honorable Endymion, whose ripe years foretell rare virtues and whose unmellowed conceits promise ripe counsel.

CYNTHIA: I have had trial of Endymion and conceive greater assurance of his age than I could hope of his youth.

TELLUS: But timely, madam, crooks that tree that will be a cammock, and young it pricks that will be a thorn; and therefore he that began without care to settle his life, it is a sign without amendment he will end it.

CYNTHIA: [Calmly frowning at Tellus, who was still handcuffed and shackled.] Presumptuous girl, I will make thy tongue an example of unrecoverable displeasure. – [Turning to face Corsites and snapped her jeweled fingers twice.] Corsites, carry her to the castle in the desert, and leave her there to remain and weave.

CORSITES: [Bowing his head before Cynthia's throne, kneeling on one bended knee.] Shall she work stories, or poetries?

CYNTHIA: It skilleth not which. Go to, in both; for she shall find examples infinite in either, what punishment long tongues have. [Exeunt Corsites and Tellus.] Eumenides, if either the soothsayers in Egypt, or the enchanters in Thessaly, or the philosophers in Greece or all the sages of the world can find a remedy, I will procure it. Therefore dispatch will all speed: you, Eumenides, go into Thessaly; you, Zontes, go into Greece (because you are acquainted in Athens); and you, Panelion, go to Egypt, saying that Cynthia sendeth and, if you will, commandeth.

EUMENIDES: On a bowed knee, I give thee thanks, and with the wings on my legs, I fly for a remedy.

ZONTES: We are ready at Your Highness' command, and hope to return to your full content.

CYNTHIA: It shall never be said that Cynthia, whose mercy and goodness filleth the heavens with joys and the world with marvels, will suffer either Endymion or any to perish if he may be protected.

EUMENIDES: Your Majesty's words have been always deeds, and your deeds virtues.

[Exeunt all.]

Scene III.2

The white sandy desert before the Captain Corsite's castle in the lush oasis's center.

[Enter Corsites and Tellus.]

CORSITES: Here is the castle, fair Tellus, in which you must weave until either the time end your days or Cynthia her displeasure. I am sorry so fair a face should be subject to so hard a fortune, and that the flower of beauty, which is honored in courts, should here wither in prison.

TELLUS: Corsites, Cynthia may restrain the liberty of my body; of my thoughts she cannot. And therefore do I esteem myself most free, though I am in greatest bondage.

CORSITES: Can you then feed on fancy, and subdue the malice of envy by the sweetness of imagination?

TELLUS: Corsites, there is no sweeter music to the miserable than despair; and therefore the more bitterness I feel, the more sweetness I find. For so vain were liberty, and so unwelcome the following of higher fortune, that I choose rather to pine in this castle than to be a prince in any other court.

CORSITES: A humor contrary to your years and nothing agreeable to your sex, the one commonly allured with delights, the other always with sovereignty.

TELLUS: I marvel, Corsites, so that you, being a captain, who should sound nothing but terror and suck nothing but blood, can find in your heart to talk such smooth words, for that it agreeth not with your calling to use words so soft as that of love.

CORSITES: Lady, it were unfit of the wars to discourse with the women, into whose minds nothing can sink but smoothness. Besides, you must not think that the soldiers be so rough-hewn or of such a knotty metal that beauty cannot allure, and you, being beyond perfection, enchant.

TELLUS: Good Corsites, talk not of love. but let me to my labor. The little beauty I have shall be bestowed on my loom, which I now mean to make my lover.

CORSITES: Let us in, and what favor Corsites can show, Tellus can command.

TELLUS: The only favor I desire is now and then to walk.

[Exeunt both Corsites and Tellus.]

Scene III.3

The Royal Gardens of Cynthia's Palace

[Enter Sir Tophas (armed as before) and Epiton (with a gown and other paraphernalia.]

TOPHAS: Epiton!

EPITON: Here, sir.

TOPHAS: Unrig me. Heigho!

EPITON: What's that?

TOPHAS: An interjection, whereof some are of mourning, as eho, yah.

EPITON: I understand you not.

TOPHAS: Thou seest me.


TOPHAS: Thou hearst me.


TOPHAS: Thou feelest me.


TOPHAS: And not understandst me?


TOPHAS: Then I am but three quarters of a noun substantive. But alas, Epiton, to tell thee the truth, I am a noun adjective.


TOPHAS: Because I cannot stand without another.

EPITON: Who is that?

TOPHAS: Dipsas.

EPITON: Are you in love?

TOPHAS: No, but love hath, as it were, milked my thoughts and drained from my heart the very substance of my accustomed courage. It worketh in my head like new wine, so as I must hoop my sconce with iron lest my head break, and so I bewray my brains; but I pray thee, first discover me in all parts, that I may be like a lover, and then will I sigh and die. Take my gun, and give me a gown. Cedant arma togae.

EPITON: [Helping Sir Tophas to disarm.] Here.

TOPHAS: Take my sword and shield. and give me beard-brush and scissors. Bella gerant alii; tu, Pari, semper ama.

EPITON: Will you be trimmed, sir?

TOPHAS: Not yet, for I feel a contention within me whether I shall frame the bodkin beard or the bush. But take my pike and give me pen. Dicere quae puduit, scribere jussit amor.

EPITON: I will furnish you, sir.

TOPHAS: Now for my bow and my bolts, give me ink and paper; for my smiter, a penknife. For scalpellum, calami, atramentum, charta, libelli, sint semper studiis arma parata meis.

EPITON: Sir, will you give over wars and play with that bauble called love?

TOPHAS: Give over wars? No, Epiton. Militat omnis amans, et habet sua castra Cupido.

EPITON: Love hath made you very eloquent, but your face is nothing fair.

TOPHAS: Non formosus erat, sed erat facundus Ulysses.

EPITON: Nay, I must seek a new master if you can speak nothing but verses.

TOPHAS: Quicquid conabar dicere versus erat. Epiton, I feel all Ovid de Arte Amandi lie as heavy at my heart as a load of logs. O what a fine thin hair hath Dipsas! What a pretty low forehead! What a tall and stately nose! What little hollow eyes! What great and goodly lips! How harmless she is, being toothless! Her fingers fat and short, adorned with long nails like a bittern! In how sweet a proportion her cheeks hang down to her breasts like dug, and her paps to her waist like bags! What a low stature she is, and yet what a great foot she carrieth! How thrifty must she be in whom there is no waste! How virtuous she is like to be, over whom no man can be jealous!

EPITON: Stay, Master, you forget yourself.

TOPHAS: O, Epiton, even as a dish melteth by the fire, so doth my wit increase by love.

EPITON: Pithily, and to the purpose. But what, begin you to nod?

TOPHAS: Good Epiton, let me take a nap. For as some man may better steal a horse than another look over the hedge, so divers shall be sleepy when they would fainest take rest.

[He sleeps.]

EPITON: Who ever saw such a woodcock? Love Dipsas? Without doubt all the world will now account him valiant, that ventureth on her whom none durst undertake. But here cometh two wags.

[Enter Samias and Dares.]

SAMIAS: [To Dares.] Thy master hath slept his share.

DARES: [To Samias.] I think he doth it because he would not pay me my board wages.

SAMIAS: It is a thing most strange, and I think mine will never return; so that we must both seek new masters, for we shall never live by our manners.

EPITON: [To Samias and Dares.] If you want manners, join with me and serve Sir Tophas, who must needs keep more men because he is toward marriage.

SAMIAS: What, Epiton, where's thy master?

EPITON: Yonder sleeping in love.

DARES: Is it possible?

EPITON: He hath taken his thoughts a hole lower and saith, seeing it is the fashion of the world, he will vail bonnet to beauty.

SAMIAS: How is he attired?

EPITON: Lovely.

DARES: Whom loveth this amorous knight?

EPITON: Dipsas.

SAMIAS: That ugly creature? Why, she is a fool, a scold, fat, without fashion, and quite without favor.

EPITON: Tush, you be simple. My master hath a good marriage.

DARES: Good? As how?

EPITON: Why, in marrying Dipsas, he shall have every day twelve dishes of meat to his dinner, though there be none but Dipsas with him. Four of flesh, four of fish, and four of fruit.

SAMIAS: As how, Epiton?

EPITON: For flesh, these: woodcock, goose, bittern, and rail.

DARES: Indeed, he shall not miss if Dipsas be there.

EPITON: For fish, these: crab, carp, lump and pouting.

SAMIAS: Excellent! For, of my word, she is both crabbish, lumpish and carping.

EPITON: For fruit these: fritters, medlars, heart-i-chokes, and lady-longings. Thus you see he shall fare like a king, though he be but a beggar.

DARES: Well, Epiton, dine thou with him, for I had rather fast than see her face. But see, thy master is asleep. Let us have a song to wake this amorous knight.

EPITON: Agreed.

SAMIAS: Content.


EPITON: Here snores Tophas. That amorous lass who loves Dipsas, With her face so sweet. Nose and chin meet.

ALL THREE: At sight of her, each Fury skips And she flings into her lap their whips.

DARES: Holla, holla in his ear.

SAMIAS: The witch sure thrust her fingers there.

EPITON: Cramp him, or wring the fool by th' nose.

DARES: Or clap some burning flax to his toes.

SAMIAS: What music's best to wake him?

EPITON: Bow-wow. Let the bandogs shake him.

DARES: Let the adders hiss in's ear.

SAMIAS: Else earwigs wriggle there.

EPITON: No, let him batten; when his tongue Once he goes, a cat is not worse strung.

ALL THREE: But if he open nor his mouth nor his eyes, He may in time sleep himself wise.

TOPHAS: [To himself, as he awakens.] Sleep is a binding of the senses, love a loosing.

EPITON: [Aside, to Samias and Dares.] Let us hear him awhile.

TOPHAS: There appeared in my sleep a goodly owl, who, sitting on my shoulder, cried 'Twit, twit,' and before mine eyes presented herself the express image of Dipsas. I marveled what the owl said, till at the last I perceived 'Twit, twit,' 'To it, to it,' only by contraction admonished by this vision to make account of my sweet Venus.

SAMIAS: Sir Tophas, you have overslept yourself.

TOPHAS: No, youth, I have but slept over my love.

DARES: Love? Why, it is impossible that into so noble and unconquered a courage, love should creep, having first a head as hard to pierce as steel, then to pass to a heart armed with a shirt of mail.

EPITON: [Aside, to Samias and Dares.] Ay, but my master yawning one day in the sun, love crept into his mouth before he could close it, and there kept such a tumbling in his body that he was glad to untruss the points of his heart and entertain Love as a stranger.

TOPHAS: If there remain any pity in you, plead for me to Dipsas.

DARES: Plead? Nay, we will press her to it. [Aside to Samias.] Let us go with him to Dipsas, and there shall we have good sport. -- But Sir Tophas, when shall we go? For I find my tongue voluble and my heart venturous, and all myself like myself.

SAMIAS: [Aside to Dares.] Come, Dares, let us not lose him till we find our masters, for as long as he liveth, we shall lack neither mirth nor meat.

EPITON: We will traverse. -- Will you go, sir?

TOPHAS: I prae: sequar. [Exeunt all.]

Scene III.4

A desert place with a sparkling clear marble fountain.

[Enter Eumenides and Geron.]

EUMENIDES: Father, your sad music, being tuned on the same key that my hard fortune is, hath so melted my mind that I wish to hang at your mouth's end until my life end.

GERON: These tunes, gentleman, have I been accustomed with these fifty winters, having no other house to shroud myself but the broad heavens; and so familiar with me hath use made misery that I esteem sorrow my chiefest solace. And welcomest is that guest to me that can rehearse the saddest tale or the bloodiest tragedy.

EUMENIDES: A strange humor. Might I inquire the cause?

GERON: You must pardon me if I deny to tell it, for, knowing that the revealing of griefs is, as it were, a renewing of sorrow, I have vowed therefore to conceal them, that I might not only feel the depth of everlasting discontentment, but despair of remedy. But whence are you? What fortune hath thrust you to this distress?

EUMENIDES: I am going to Thessaly to seek remedy for Endymion, my dearest friend, who hath been cast into a dead sleep almost these twenty years, waxing old and ready for the grave, being almost but newly come forth of the cradle.

GERON: You need not for re-cure travel far, for whoso can clearly see the bottom of this fountain shall have remedy for anything.

EUMENIDES: That, methinketh, is un-possible. Why, what virtue can there be in the water?

GERON: Yes, whosoever can shed the tears of a faithful lover shall obtain anything he would. Read these words engraven about the brim.

EUMENIDES: [Reading.] Have you known this by experience, or is it placed here of purpose to delude men?

GERON: I only would have experience of it, and then should there be an end of my misery. And then would I tell the strangest discourse that ever yet was heard.

EUMENIDES: [To himself.] Ah, Eumenides!

GERON: What lack you, gentleman; are you not well?

EUMENIDES: Yes, father, but a qualm that often cometh over my heart doth now take hold of me. But did never any lovers come hither?

GERON: Lusters, but not lovers. For often have I seen them weep, but never could I hear they saw the bottom.

EUMENIDES: Came there the women also?

GERON: Some.

EUMENIDES: What did they see?

GERON: They all wept, that the fountain overflowed with their tears, but so thick became the water with their tears that I could scarce discern the brim, much less behold the bottom.

EUMENIDES: Be the faithful lovers so scant?

GERON: It seemeth so, for yet heard I never of any.

EUMENIDES: Ah Eumenides, how art thou perplexed! Call to mind the beauty of thy sweet mistress and the depth of thy never-dying affections. How oft hast thou honored her, not only without spot but suspicion of falsehood! And how hardly hath she rewarded thee without cause or color of despite! How secret hast thou been these seven years, so that hast not, nor once darest not, to name her for discontenting her. Unhappy Eumenides!

GERON: Why, gentleman, did you once love?

EUMENIDES: Once? Ay, Father, and ever shall.

GERON: Was she unkind and you faithful?

EUMENIDES: She of all women the most forward, and I of all creatures the most fond.

GERON: You doted then, not loved. For affection is grounded on virtue and virtue is never peevish, or on beauty, and beauty loveth to be praised.

EUMENIDES: Ay, but if all the virtuous ladies should yield to all that be loving, or all amiable gentlewomen entertain all that be amorous, their virtues would be accounted vices and their beauties deformities, for that love can be but between two, and that not proceeding of him that is most faithful, but most fortunate.

GERON: I would you were so faithful that your tears might make you fortunate.

EUMENIDES: Yea, father, if that my tears clear not this fountain, then may you swear it is but a mere mockery.

GERON: So, 'faith, everyone yet that wept.

EUMENIDES: [Looking into the fountain.] Ah, I faint, I die! Ah, sweet Semele, let me alone, and dissolve by weeping into water!

GERON: [Aside.] This affection seemeth strange. If he see nothing, without doubt this dissembling passeth, for nothing shall draw me from the belief.

EUMENIDES: Father, I plainly see the bottom, and there in the white marble engraven these words: 'Ask one for all, and but one thing at all.'

GERON: O fortunate Eumenides (for so have I heard thee call thyself), let me see. [He looks into the fountain.] I cannot discern any such thing. I think thou dreamest.

EUMENIDES: Ah, Father, thou art not a faithful lover and therefore canst not behold it.

GERON: Then ask, that I may be satisfied by the event, and thyself blessed.

EUMENIDES: Ask? So I will. And what shall I do but ask, and whom should I ask but Semele, the possessing of whose person is a pleasure that cannot come within the compass of comparison, whose golden locks seem most curious when they seem most careless, whose sweet looks seem most alluring when they are most chaste, and whose words the more virtuous they are, the more amorous they be accounted. I pray thee, Fortune, when I shall first meet with fair Semele, dash my delight with some light disgrace lest embracing sweetness beyond measure, I take surfeit without a re-cure. Let her practice her accustomed coyness, so that I may diet myself upon my desires; otherwise the fullness of my joys will diminish the sweetness, and I shall perish by them before I possess them. Why do I trifle the time in words? The least minute being spent in the getting of Semele is more worth than the whole world; therefore let me ask. -- What now, Eumenides? Whither art thou drawn? Hast thou forgotten both friendship and duty, care of Endymion and the commandment of Cynthia? Shall he die in a leaden sleep because thou sleepest in a golden dream? -- Ay, let him sleep ever, so I slumber but one minute with Semele. Love knoweth neither friendship nor kindred. Shall I not hazard the loss of a friend, for the obtaining of her for whom I would often lose myself? -- Fond Eumenides, shall the enticing beauty of a most disdainful lady be of more force than the rare fidelity of a tried friend? The love of the men to the women is a thing common, and of course; the friendship of man to man infinite, and immortal. -- Tush, Semele doth possess my love. -- Ay, but Endymion hath deserved it. I will help Endymion; I found Endymion unspotted in his truth. -- Ay, but I shall find Semele constant in her love. I will have Semele. -- What shall I do? Father, thy gray hairs are the ambassadors of experience. Which shall I ask?

GERON: Eumenides, release Endymion; for all the things, friendship is being excepted, are the subject to fortune. Love is but an eye-worm, which only tickleth the head with the hopes and the wishes; friendship the image of eternity, in which there is nothing movable, nothing mischievous. As much difference as there is between beauty and virtue, bodies and shadows, colors and life, so the great odds is there between love and friendship. Love is a chameleon, which draweth nothing into the mouth but air and nourisheth nothing in the body but lungs. Believe me, Eumenides, desire dies in the same moment that beauty sickens, and beauty fadeth in the same instant that it flourisheth. When adversities flow, then love ebbs, but friendship standeth stiffly in storms. Time draweth wrinkles in a fair face but addeth fresh colors to a fast friend, which neither heat, nor cold, nor misery, nor place, place, nor destiny can alter or diminish. O friendship, of all things the most rare, and therefore most rare because most excellent, whose comforts in misery is always sweet and whose counsels in prosperity are ever fortunate! Vain love, that only coming near to friendship in name, would seem to be the same, or better, in nature!

EUMENIDES: Father, I allow your reasons and will therefore conquer mine own. Virtue shall subdue affections, wisdom subdue lust, and friendship subdue beauty. Mistresses are in every place, and as common as hares in Athos, bees in Hybla, fowls in the air; but friends to be found are like the phoenix in Arabia, but one, or the philadelphi in Arays, never above two. I will have Endymion. [He looks into the fountain again.] Sacred fountain, in whose bowels are hidden divine secrets, I have increased your waters with the tears of unspotted thoughts, and therefore let me receive the reward you promise. Endymion, the truest friend to me, and faithfullest lover to Cynthia, is in such a dead sleep that nothing can wake or move him.

GERON: Dost thou see anything?

EUMENIDES: I see in the same pillar these words: 'When she, whose figure of all is the perfectest and never to be measured, always one yet never the same, still inconstant yet never wavering, shall come and kiss Endymion in his sleep, he shall then rise; else never.' This is strange.

GERON: What see you else?

ENDYMION: There cometh over mine eyes either a dark mist, or upon the fountain a deep thickness, for I can perceive nothing. But how am I deluded? Or what difficult, nay impossible, thing is this?

GERON: Methinketh it easy.

EUMENIDES: Good Father, and how?

GERON: Is not a circle of all figures the perfectest?


GERON: And is not Cynthia of all circles the most absolute?


GERON: Is it not impossible to measure her, who still worketh by her influence, never standing at one stay?


GERON: Is she not always Cynthia, yet seldom in the same bigness, always wavering in her waxing or waning, that our bodies might the better be governed, our seasons the daylier give their increase, yet never to be removed from her course as long as the heavens continue theirs?


GERON: Then who can it be but Cynthia, whose virtues being all divine, must needs bring things to pass that be miraculous? Go humble thyself to Cynthia; tell her the success, of which myself shall be a witness. And this, assure thyself: that she that sent to find means for his safety will now work her cunning.

EUMENIDES: How fortunate am I, if Cynthia be she that may do it!

GERON: How fond art thou if you do not believe it!

EUMENIDES: I will hasten thither, that I may entreat on my knees for succor, and embrace in mine arms my friend.

GERON: I will go with thee, for unto Cynthia must I discover all my sorrows, who also must work in me a contentment.

EUMENIDES: May I now know the cause?

GERON: That shall be as we walk, and I doubt not but the strangeness of my tale will take away the tediousness of our journey.

EUMENIDES: Let us go.

GERON: I follow.

[Exeunt Geron and Eumenides.]

Act IV

Scene IV.1

Before Corsites's Castle in the oasis

{{[Enter Tellus.]|}}

TELLUS: [Aside.] I marvel Corsites giveth me so much liberty, all the world knowing his charge to be so high and his nature to be most strange, who hath so ill entreated ladies of great honor that he hath not suffered them to look out of windows, much less to walk abroad. It may be he is in love with me, for, Endymion, hardhearted Endymion excepted, what is he that is not enamored of my beauty? But what respectest thou the love of all the world? Endymion hates thee. Alas, poor Endymion, my malice hath exceeded my love, and thy faith to Cynthia quenched my affections. Quenched, Tellus? Nay, kindled them afresh, insomuch that I find scorching flames for dead embers, and cruel encounters of war in my thoughts instead of sweet parleys. Ah, that I might once again see Endymion! Accursed girl, what hope hast thou to see Endymion, on whose head already are grown gray hairs, and whose life must yield to nature before Cynthia end her displeasure? Wicked Dipsas, and most devilish Tellus, the one for cunning too exquisite, the other for hate too intolerable! Thou wast commanded to weave the stories and poetries wherein were showed both examples and punishments of tattling tongues, and thou hast only embroidered the sweet face of Endymion, devices of love, melancholy imaginations, and what not out of thy work, that thou shouldst study to pick out of thy mind. [Hearing the sound of the approaching footsteps.] But here cometh Corsites. I must seem yielding and stout, full of mildness yet tempered with a majesty. For if I be too flexible, I shall give him more hope than I mean; if too forward, enjoy less liberty than I would. Love him I cannot, and therefore will practice that which is most contrary to our sex, to dissemble.

{{[Enter Corsites.]|}}

CORSITES: Fair Tellus, I perceive you rise with the lark, and to yourself sing with the nightingale.

TELLUS: My lord, I have no playfellow but fancy. Being barred of all company, I must question with myself and make my thoughts my friends.

CORSITES: I would you would account my thoughts also your friends, for they be such as are only busied in wondering at your beauty and wisdom, and some such as have esteemed your fortune too hard, and divers of that kind that offer to set you free if you will set them free.

TELLUS: There are no colors so contrary as white and black, nor elements so disagreeing as fire and water, nor anything so opposite as men's thoughts and their words.

CORSITES: He that gave Cassandra the gift of prophesying, with the curse that, spake she never so true, she should never be believed, hath I think, poisoned the fortune of men, that, uttering the extremities of their inward passions, are always suspected of outward perjuries.

TELLUS: Well, Corsites, I will flatter myself and believe you. What would you do to enjoy my love?

CORSITES: Set all the ladies of the castle free and make you the pleasure of my life. More I cannot do; less I will not.

TELLUS: These be great words, and fit your calling, for the captains must promise the things impossible. But will you do one thing for all?

CORSITES: Anything, sweet Tellus, that I am ready for all.

TELLUS: You know that on the lunary bank sleepeth Endymion.

CORSITES: I know it.

TELLUS: If you will remove him from that place by force and convey him into some obscure cave by policy, I give you here the faith of an unspotted virgin that you only shall possess me as a lover and, in spite of malice, have me for a wife.

CORSITES: Remove him, Tellus? Yes Tellus, he shall be removed, and that so soon as thou shalt as much commend my diligence as my force. I go.

[He starts to leave.]

TELLUS: Stay. Will yourself attempt it?

CORSITES: Ay, Tellus. As I would have none partaker of my sweet love, so shall none be the partners of my labors. But I pray thee go at your best leisure, for Cynthia beginneth to rise, and if she discover our love, we both perish, for nothing pleaseth her but the fairness of virginity. All things must be not only without lust but without suspicion of lightness.

TELLUS: I will depart, and go you to Endymion.

CORSITES: I fly, Tellus, being of all men the most fortunate.

[Exit Corsites.]

TELLUS: Simple Corsites! I have set thee about a task, being but a man, that the gods themselves cannot perform. For little dost thou know how heavy his head lies, how hard his fortune. But such shifts must women have to deceive men, and, under the color of things easy, entreat that which is impossible. Otherwise we should be cumbered with importunities, oaths, sighs, letters, and all implements of love, which to one resolved to the contrary, are most loathsome. I will in and laugh with the other ladies at Corsites' sweating.

[Exit Tellus.]

Scene IV.2

Scene IV.2

The Tropical Royal Gardens of Cynthia's Palace

[Enter Samias and Dares.]

SAMIAS: Will thy master never awake?

DARES: No, I think he sleeps for a wager. But how shall we spend the time? Sir Tophas is so far in love that he pineth in his bed and cometh not abroad.

SAMIAS: But here cometh Epiton, in a pelting chafe.

{{[Enter Epiton.]|}}

EPITON: A pox of all the false proverbs! And, were a proverb a page, I would have him by the ears.

SAMIAS: Why art thou angry?

EPITON: Why? You know it is said, the tide tarrieth no man.


EPITON: A monstrous lie; for I was tied two hours, and tarried for one to unloose me.

DARES: Alas, poor Epiton!

EPITON: Poor? No, no, you base-conceited slaves, I am a most complete gentleman, although I be in disgrace with Sir Tophas.

DARES: Art thou out with him?

EPITON: Ay, because I cannot get him a lodging with Endymion. He would fain take a nap for forty or fifty years.

DARES: A short sleep, considering our long life.

SAMIAS: Is he still in love?

EPITON: In love? Why, he doth nothing but make sonnets.

SAMIAS: Canst thou remember any one of his poems?

EPITON: Ay, this is one: The beggar Love that knows not where to lodge, At last within my heart when I slept, He crept. I waked, and so my fancies began to fodge.

SAMIAS: That's a very long verse.

EPITON: Why, the other was short. The first is called from the thumb to the little finger, the second from the little finger to the elbow, and some he hath made to reach to the crown of his head and down again to the sole of his foot. It is set to the tune of the Black Saunce, ratio est, because Dipsas is a black saint.

DARES: Very wisely. But pray thee, Epi, how art thou complete? And, being from thy master, what occupation wilt thou take?

EPITON: Know my hearts, I am an absolute microcosmos, a petty world of myself. My library is my head, for I have no other books but my brains; my wardrobe on my back, for I have no more apparel than is on my body; my armory at my fingers' ends, for I use no other artillery than my nails; my treasure in my purse. Sic omnia mea mecum porto.

DARES: Good.

EPITON: Now, sirs, my palace is paved with grass and tiled with stars, for caelo tegitur qui non habet urnam: he that hath no house must lie in the yard.

SAMIAS: A brave resolution. But how wilt thou spend thy time?

EPITON: Not in any melancholy sort. For mine exercise, I will walk the horses.

DARES: Too bad.

EPITON: Why, is it not said: 'It is good walking when one hath his horse in his hand?'

SAMIAS: Worse and worse. But how wilt thou live?

EPITON: By angling. O, 'tis a stately occupation to stand four hours in a cold morning and to have his nose bitten with frost before his bait be mumbled with a fish.

DARES: A rare attempt. But wilt thou never travel?

EPITON: Yes, in a western barge, when, with a good wind and lusty pugs, one may go ten miles in two days.

SAMIAS: Thou art excellent at thy choice. But what pastime wilt thou use? None?

EPITON: Yes, the quickest of all.

SAMIAS: What, dice?

EPITON: No. When I am in haste, one-and-twenty games at chess, to pass a few minutes.

DARES: A life for a little lord, and full of quickness.

EPITON: Tush, let me alone. But I must needs see if I can find where Endymion lieth, and then go to a certain fountain hard by, where they say faithful lovers shall have all things they will ask. If I can find out any of these, ego et magister meus erimus in tuto, I and my master shall be friends. He is resolved to weep some three or four pailfuls to avoid the rheum of love that wambleth in his stomach.

[Enter the two Watchmen and the Constable.]

SAMIAS: Shall we never see thy master, Dares?

DARES: Yes, let us go now, for tomorrow Cynthia will be there.

EPITON: I will go with you. But how shall we see for the watch?

SAMIAS: Tush, let me alone. I'll begin to them. Masters, God speed you.

1st WATCHMAN: Sir boy, we are all sped already.

EPITON: [Aside, to Samias and Dares.] So methinks, for they smell all of drink like a beggar's beard.

DARES: But I pray, sirs, may we see Endymion?

2nd WATCHMAN: No, we are commanded in Cynthia's name that no man shall see him.

SAMIAS: No man? Why, we are but boys.

1st WATCHMAN: [To his fellow Watchmen.] Mass, neighbors, he says true. For if I swear I will never drink my liquor by the quart, and yet call for two pints, I think with a safe conscience I may carouse both.

DARES: [Aside to Samias and Epiton.] Pithily, and to the purpose.

2nd WATCHMAN: [Turning to face his fellow Watchmen.] Tush, tush, neighbors, take me with you.

SAMIAS: [Aside to Dares and Epiton.] This will grow hot.

DARES: [Aside to Samias and Epiton.] Let them alone.

2nd WATCHMAN: [Turning back to his fellow Watchmen once again.] If I say to my wife, 'Wife, I will have no raisins in my pudding', she puts in currants. Small raisins are raisins, and boys are men. Even as my wife should have put no raisins in my pudding, so shall there no boys see Endymion.

DARES: [Aside.] Learnedly.

EPITON: Let Master Constable speak; I think he is the wisest among you.

CONSTABLE: You know, neighbors, 'tis an old-said saw, 'Children and fools speak true.'

ALL: True.

CONSTABLE: Well, there you see the men be the fools, because it is provided from the children.

DARES: Good.

CONSTABLE: Then say I, neighbors, that children must not see Endymion, because children and fools speak true.

EPITON: O, wicked application!

SAMIAS: Scurvily brought about.

1 WATCHMAN: Nay, he says true; and therefore until Cynthia have been here, he shall not be uncovered. Therefore away.

DARES: [Aside to Samias and Epiton.] A watch, quoth you? A man may watch seven years for a wise word and yet go without it. Their wits are all as rusty as their bills. -- But come on, Master Constable, shall we have a song before we go?

CONSTABLE: With all my heart.


WATCHMEN: Stand, who goes there? We charge you appear 'Fore our constable here. In the name of the Man in the Moon, To us billmen relate Why you stagger so late, And how you come drunk so soon.

PAGES: What are ye, scabs?

WATCHMEN: The Watch. This is the Constable.

PAGES: A patch.

CONSTABLE: Knock 'em down unless they all stand. If any run away, 'Tis the old watchman's play To reach him a bill of his hand.

PAGES: O gentlemen, hold. Your gowns freeze with cold, And your rotten teeth dance in your head.

EPITON: Wine nothing shall cost ye,

SAMIAS: Nor huge fires to roast ye.

DARES: Then soberly let us be led.

CONSTABLE: Come, my brown bills, we'll roar, Bounce loud at tavern door,

ALL: And i'th'morning steal all to bed. [Exeunt all.]

Scene IV.3

The Tropical Royal Grove of Cynthia's Palace

[Enter Corsites solus. Endymion lies asleep on the lunary bank.]

CORSITES: I am come in sight of the lunary bank. Without doubt Tellus doteth upon me; and cunningly, that I might not perceive her love, she hath set me to a task that is done before it is begun. Endymion, you must change your pillow, and if you be not weary of sleep, I will carry you where at ease you shall sleep your fill. It were good that without more ceremonies I took him, lest being espied, I be entrapped and so incur the displeasure of Cynthia, who commonly setteth watch that Endymion have no wrong. [He tries to lift Endymion.] What now, is your mastership so heavy? Or are you nailed to the ground? Not stir one whit? -- Then use all thy force, though he feel it and wake. -- What, stone still? Turned, I think, to earth, with lying so long on the earth. Didst not thou, Corsites, before Cynthia pull up a tree that forty years was fastened with roots and wreathed in knots to the ground? Didst not thou with main force pull upon the iron gates which no ram or engine could move? Have my weak thoughts made brawn-fallen my strong arms? Or is it the nature of love or the quintessence of the mind to breed numbness, or litherness, or I know not what languishing in my joints and sinews, being but the base strings of my body? Or doth the remembrance of Tellus so refine my spirits into a matter so subtle and divine that the other fleshy parts cannot work whilst they muse? Rest thyself, rest thyself; nay, rend thyself in pieces, Corsites, and strive, in spite of love, fortune, and nature, to lift up this dulled body, heavier than dead and more senseless than death. [Enter the four Fairies.] But what are these so fair fiends that cause my hairs to stand upright and spirits to fall down? Hags --out, alas! Nymphs, I crave pardon. Ay me, out! What do I here!

[The four Fairies dance, and with a song pinch him, and he falleth asleep.]


ALL: [Singing altogether.] Pinch him, pinch him, black and blue. Saucy mortals must not view What the Queen of Stars is doing, Nor pry into our Fairy wooing.

1st FAIRY: Pinch him blue,

2nd FAIRY: And pinch him black.

3rd FAIRY: Let him not lack Sharp the nails to pinch him blue and red, Till sleep has rocked his addle-head.

4th FAIRY: For the trespass he hath done, Spots o'er all his flesh shall run. Kiss Endymion, kiss his eyes; Then to our midnight hay-de-guise.

[They kiss Endymion and Depart, leaving him and Corsites asleep. Enter Cynthia, Floscula, Semele, Panelion, Zontes, Pythagoras, and Gyptes.]

CYNTHIA: You see, Pythagoras, what ridiculous opinions you hold, and I doubt not but you are now of another mind.

PYTHAGORAS: Madam, I plainly perceive that the perfection of your brightness hath pierced through the thickness that covered my mind, insomuch that I am no less glad to be reformed than ashamed to remember my grossness.

GYPTES: They are thrice fortunate that live in your palace, where truth is not in colors but life, virtues not in imagination but execution.

CYNTHIA: I have always studied to have rather the living virtues than the painted gods, the body of truth than the tomb. But let us walk to Endymion, it may be it lieth in your arts to deliver him. As for Eumenides, I fear he is dead.

PYTHAGORAS: I have alleged all the natural reasons I can for such a long sleep.

GYPTES: I can do nothing until I see him.

CYNTHIA: Come, Floscula, I am sure you are glad that you shall behold Endymion.

FLOSCULA: I were blessed if I might have him recovered.

CYNTHIA: Are you in love with his person?

FLOSCULA: No, but with his virtue.

CYNTHIA: What say you, Semele?

SEMELE: Madam, I dare say nothing for fear I offend.

CYNTHIA: Belike you cannot speak except you be spiteful. But as good be silent as saucy. Panelion, what punishment were fit for Semele, in whose speech and thoughts is only contempt and sourness?

PANELION: I love not, madam, to give any judgment. Yet sith your Highness commandeth: I think, to commit her tongue close prisoner to her mouth.

CYNTHIA: Agreed. Semele, if thou speak this twelve-month, thou shalt forfeit thy tongue. -- Behold Endymion. Alas, poor gentleman, hast thou spent thy youth in sleep, that once vowed all to my service? Hollow eyes? Grey hairs? Wrinkled cheeks? And decayed limbs? Is it destiny or deceit that hath bought this to pass? If the first, who could prevent thy wretched stars? If the latter, I would I might know thy cruel enemy. I favored thee, Endymion, for thy honor, thy virtues, thy affections; but to bring thy thoughts within the compass of thy fortunes, I have seemed strange, that I might have thee stayed. And now are thy days ended before my favor begin. [Turning around to find Corsites asleep on the ground.] But whom have we here? Is it not Corsites?

ZONTES: It is, but more like a leopard than a man.

CYNTHIA: Awake him. [Corsites is awakened.] How now, Corsites, what make you here? How came you deformed? Look on thy hands, and then thou seest the picture of thy face.

CORSITES: Miserable wretch, and accursed! How am I deluded? Madam, I ask pardon for my offense, and you see my fortune deserveth pity.

CYNTHIA: Speak on. Thy offense cannot deserve greater punishment; but see thou rehearse the truth, else shalt thou not find me as thou wishest me.

CORSITES: Madam, as it is no offense to be in love, being a man mortal, so I hope can it be no shame to tell with whom, my lady being heavenly. Your Majesty committed to my charge the fair Tellus, whose beauty in the same moment took my heart captive that I undertook to carry her body prisoner. Since that time have I found such combats in my thoughts between love and duty, reverence and affection, that I could neither endure the conflict nor hope for the conquest.

CYNTHIA: In love? A thing far unfitting the name of a captain and, as I thought, the tough and unsmoothed nature of Corsites. But forth.

CORSITES: Feeling this continual war, I thought rather by parley to yield than by certain danger to perish. I unfolded to Tellus the depth of my affections and framed my tongue to utter a sweet tale of love, that was wont to sound nothing but the threats of war. She, too fair to be true and too false for one so fair, after a nice denial practiced a notable deceit, commanding me to remove Endymion from this cabin and carry him to some dark cave, which I, seeking to accomplish, found impossible, and so by the fairies or the fiends have been thus handled.

CYNTHIA: How say you, my lords, is not Tellus always practicing of some deceits? -- In sooth, Corsites, thy face is now too foul for a lover and thine heart too fond for a soldier. You may see, when warriors become wantons, how their manners alter with their faces. Is it not a shame, Corsites, that, having lived so long in Mars his camp, thou shouldst now be rocked in Venus' cradle? Dost thou wear Cupid's quiver at thy girdle, and make lances of looks? Well Corsites, rouse thyself and be as thou hast been, and let Tellus, who is made all of love, melt herself in her own looseness.

CORSITES: Madam, I doubt not but to recover my former state, for Tellus' beauty never wrought such love in my mind as now her deceit hath despite; and yet to be revenged of a woman were a thing than love itself more womanish.

GYPTES: These spots, gentleman, are to be worn out if you rub them over with this lunary, so that in place where you received this maim you shall find a medicine.

CORSITES: I thank you for that. The gods bless me from love and these pretty ladies that haunt this green!

FLOSCULA: Corsites, I would Tellus saw your amiable face.

[Corsites rubs out his spots with lunary from the bank. Semele laughs.]

ZONTES: [Pointing his finger at her.] How spitefully Semele laugheth, that dare not speak!

CYNTHIA: Could you not stir Endymion with that doubled strength of yours?

CORSITES: Not so much as his finger with all my force.

CYNTHIA: Pythagoras and Gyptes, what think you of Endymion? What reason is to be given, what remedy?

PYTHAGORAS: Madam, it is impossible to yield reason for things that happen not in compass of nature. It is most certain that some strange enchantment hath bound all his senses.

CYNTHIA: What say you, Gyptes?

GYPTES: With Pythagoras, that it is enchantment, and that so strange that no art can undo it, for that heaviness argueth a malice unremovable in the enchantress, and that no power can end it until she die that did it, or the heavens show some means more than miraculous.

FLOSCULA: O Endymion, could spite itself devise a mischief so monstrous as to make thee dead with life, and living being altogether dead? Where others number their years, their hours, their minutes, and step to age by stairs, thou only hast thy years and times in a cluster, being old before thou rememberest thou wast young.

CYNTHIA: No more, Floscula; pity doth him no good. I would anything else might, and I vow by the unspotted honor of a lady he should not miss it. But is this all, Gyptes, that is to be done?

GYPTES: All as yet. It may be that either the enchantress shall die or else be discovered. If either happen, I will then practice the utmost of my art. In the mean season, about this grove would I have a watch, and the first living thing that toucheth Endymion to be taken.

CYNTHIA: Corsites, what say you: will you undertake this?

CORSITES: Good madam, pardon me; I was overtaken too late. I should rather break into the midst of a main battle than again fall into the hands of those fair babies.

CYNTHIA: Well, I will provide others. Pythagoras and Gyptes, you shall yet remain in my court until I hear what may be done in this matter.

PYTHAGORAS: We attend.

CYNTHIA: Let us go in. [Exeunt all. Endymion continues asleep on his lunary bank, near a tree, but perhaps curtained off during the entr'acte music.]


Scene V.1

The Tropical Royal Groves of Cynthia's Palace

[Enter Samias and Dares.]

SAMIAS: Eumenides hath told such strange tales as I may well wonder at them but never believe them.

DARES: The other old man, what a sad speech used he, that caused us almost all to weep. Cynthia is so desirous to know the experiment of her own virtue, and so willing to ease Endymion's hard fortune, that she no sooner heard the discourse but she made herself in a readiness to try the event.

SAMIAS: We will also see the event. But whist! Here cometh Cynthia with all her train. Let us sneak in amongst them.

[Enter Cynthia, Floscula, Semele, Panelion, etc. Eumenides, Zontes, Gyptes, and Pythagoras. Samias and Dares join the throng.]

CYNTHIA: Eumenides, it cannot sink into my head that I should be signified by that sacred fountain, for many things are there in the world to which those words may be applied.

EUMENIDES: Good madam, vouchsafe but to try, else shall I think myself most unhappy that I asked not my sweet mistress.

CYNTHIA: Will you not yet tell me her name?

EUMENIDES: Pardon me, good madam, for if Endymion awake, he shall. Myself have sworn never to reveal it.

CYNTHIA: Well, let us to Endymion. [They approach the sleeping Endymion on the bridal brier.] I will not be so stately, good Endymion, not to stoop to do thee good; and if thy liberty consist in a kiss from me, thou shalt have it. And although my mouth hath been heretofore as untouched as my thoughts, yet now to recover thy life (though to restore thy youth it be impossible), I will do that to Endymion which yet never mortal man could boast of heretofore, nor shall ever hope for hereafter.

[She kisses him.]

EUMENIDES: Madam, he beginneth to stir.

CYNTHIA: Soft, Eumenides. Stand still.

EUMENIDES: Ah, I see his eyes almost open.

CYNTHIA: I command thee once again, stir not. I will stand before him.

PANELION: What do I see, Endymion almost awake?

EUMENIDES: Endymion, Endymion, art thou deaf or dumb? Or hath this long sleep taken away thy memory? Ah, my sweet Endymion, seest thou not Eumenides, thy faithful friend, thy faithful Eumenides, who for thy safety hath been careless of his own content? Speak, Endymion, Endymion, Endymion!

ENDYMION: Endymion? I call to mind such a name.

EUMENIDES: Hast thou forgotten thyself, Endymion? Then do I not marvel thou rememberest not thy friend. I tell thee thou art Endymion and I Eumenides. Behold also Cynthia, by whose favor thou art awaked, and by whose virtue thou shalt continue thy natural course.

CYNTHIA: Endymion, speak sweet Endymion. Knowest thou not Cynthia?

ENDYMION: O heavens, whom do I behold? Fair Cynthia, divine Cynthia?

CYNTHIA: I am Cynthia, and thou Endymion.

ENDYMION: Endymion? What do I here? What, a gray beard? Hollow eyes? Withered body? Decayed limbs? And all in one night?

EUMENIDES: One night? Thou hast here slept forty years, by what enchantress as yet it is not known. And behold, the twig to which thou laidst thy head is now become a tree. Callest thou not Eumenides to remembrance?

ENDYMION: Thy name I do remember by the sound, but thy favor I do not yet call to mind. Only divine Cynthia, to whom time, fortune, destiny, and death are subject, I see and remember, and in all humility I regard and reverence.

CYNTHIA: You have good cause to remember Eumenides, who hath for thy safety forsaken his own solace.

ENDYMION: Am I that Endymion who was wont in court to lead my life, and in jousts, tourneys, and arms to exercise my youth? Am I that Endymion?

EUMENIDES: Thou art that Endymion and I Eumenides. Wilt thou not yet call me to remembrance?

ENDYMION: Ah, sweet Eumenides, I now perceive thou art he, and that myself have the name of Endymion. But that this should be my body I doubt; for how could my curled locks be turned to gray hairs and my strong body to a dying weakness, having waxed old and not knowing it?

CYNTHIA: Well, Endymion, arise. A while sit down, for that thy limbs are stiff and not able to stay thee, and tell what hast thou seen in thy sleep all this while? What dreams, visions, thoughts, and fortunes? For it is impossible but in so long time thou shouldst see things strange.

ENDYMION: Fair Cynthia, I will rehearse what I have seen, humbly desiring that when I exceed in length, you give me warning that I may end. For to utter all I have to speak would be troublesome, although haply the strangeness may somewhat abate the tediousness.

CYNTHIA: Well, Endymion, begin.

ENDYMION: Methought I saw a lady passing fair but very mischievous, who in the one hand carried a knife with which she offered to cut my throat, and in the other a looking glass, wherein seeing how ill anger became ladies, she refrained from intended violence. She was accompanied with other damsels, one of which, with a stern countenance, and as it were with a settled malice engraven in her eyes, provoked her to execute mischief. Another with visage sad, and constant only in sorrow, with her arms crossed and watery eyes, seemed to lament my fortune, but durst not offer to prevent the force. I started in my sleep, feeling my very veins to swell and my sinews to stretch with fear, and such a cold sweat bedewed all my body that death itself could not be so terrible as the vision.

CYNTHIA: A strange sight. Gyptes at our better leisure shall expound it.

ENDYMION: After long debating with herself, mercy overcame anger, and there appeared in her heavenly face such a divine majesty, mingled with a sweet mildness, that I was ravished with the sight above measure, and wished that I might have enjoyed the sight without end. And so she departed with the other ladies, of which the one retained still an unmovable cruelty, the other a constant pity.

CYNTHIA: Poor Endymion, how wast thou affrighted! What else?

ENDYMION: After her immediately appeared an aged man with a beard as white as snow, carrying in his hand a book with three leaves, and speaking, as I remember these words: 'Endymion, receive this book with three leaves, in which are contained counsels, policies, and pictures.' And with that, he offered me the book, which I rejected; where-with moved with a disdainful pity, he rent the first leaf in a thousand shivers. The second time he offered it, which I refused also; at which, bending his brows and pitching his eyes fast to the ground as though they were fixed to the earth and not again to be removed, then suddenly casting them up to the heavens, he tore in a rage the second leaf and offered the book only with one leaf. I know not whether fear to offend or desire to know some strange thing moved me; I took the book, and so the old man vanished.

CYNTHIA: What didst thou imagine was in the last leaf?

ENDYMION: There -- ay, portrayed to life -- with a cold quaking in every joint, I beheld many wolves barking at thee, Cynthia, who, having ground their teeth to bite, did with striving bleed themselves to death. There might I see Ingratitude with an hundred eyes, gazing for benefits, and with a thousand teeth gnawing on the bowels wherein she was bred. Treachery stood all clothed in white, with a smiling countenance but both her hands bathed in blood. Envy, with a pale and meager face, whose body was so lean that one might tell all her bones, and whose garment was so tattered that it was easy to number every thread, stood shooting at stars. whose darts fell down again on her own face. There might I behold drones, or beetles, I know not how to term them, creeping under the wings of a princely eagle, who, being carried into her nest, sought there to suck that vein that would have killed the eagle. I mused that things so base should attempt a fact so barbarous or durst imagine a thing so bloody. And many other things, madam, the repetition whereof may at your better leisure seem more pleasing, for bees surfeit sometimes with honey, and the gods are glutted with harmony, and Your Highness may be dulled with delight.

CYNTHIA: I am content to be dieted; therefore let us in. Eumenides, see that Endymion be well tended, lest, either eating immoderately or sleeping again too long, he fall into a deadly surfeit or into his former sleep. See this also be proclaimed: that whosoever will discover this practice shall have of Cynthia infinite thanks and no small rewards.

[Exit, Cynthia attended by her courtly entourage. Only Floscula, Endymion, and Eumenides remain.]

FLOSCULA: Ah, Endymion, none so joyful as Floscula of thy restoring!

EUMENIDES: Yes, Floscula, let Eumenides be somewhat gladder, and do not that wrong to the settled friendship of a man as to compare it with the light affection of a woman. -- Ah, my dear friend Endymion, suffer me to die with gazing at thee!

ENDYMION: Eumenides, thy friendship is immortal and not to be conceived, and thy good will, Floscula, better than I have deserved. But let us all wait on Cynthia. I marvel Semele speaketh not a word.

EUMENIDES: Because if she do she loseth her tongue.

ENDYMION: But how prospereth your love?

EUMENIDES: I never yet spake word since your sleep.

ENDYMION: I doubt not but your affection is old and your appetite cold.

EUMENIDES: No, Endymion, thine hath made it stronger, and now are my sparks grown to flames and my fancies almost to frenzies. But let us follow, and within we will debate all this matter at large.

{{|[Exeunt all.]}}

Scene V.2

[Enter Sir Tophas and Epiton.]

TOPHAS: Epiton, love hath jostled my liberty from the wall and taken the upper hand of my reason.

EPITON: Let me then trip up the heels of your affection and thrust your good will into the gutter.

TOPHAS: No, Epi, love is a lord of misrule, and keepeth Christmas in my corpse.

EPITON: No doubt there is good cheer. What dishes of delight doth his lordship feast you withal?

TOPHAS: First, with a great platter of plum-porridge of pleasure, wherein is stewed the mutton of mistrust.

EPITON: Excellent love-lap!

TOPHAS: Then cometh a pie of patience, a hen of honey, a goose of gall, a capon of care, and many other viands, some sweet and some sour, which proveth love to be as it was said of in the old years: dulce venenum.

EPITON: A brave banquet!

TOPHAS: But Epiton, I pray thee feel on my chin; something pricketh me. What dost thou feel or see?

EPITON: [Examining his chin.] There are three or four little hairs.

TOPHAS: I pray thee call it my beard. How shall I be troubled when this young spring shall grow to a great wood!

EPITON: O, sir, your chin is but a quiller yet. You will be most majestical when it is full fledge. But I marvel that you love Dipsas, that old crone.

TOPHAS: Agnosco veteris vestigia flamma: I love the smoke of an old fire.

EPITON: Why, she is so cold that no fire can thaw her thoughts.

TOPHAS: It is an old goose, Epiton, that will eat no oats; old kine will kick, the old rats gnaw the cheese, andthe old sacks will have much patching. I prefer an old cony before a rabbit-sucker and an ancient hen before a young chicken peeper.

EPITON: Argumentum ab antiquitate. [Aside.] My master loveth antique work.

TOPHAS: Give me a pippin that is withered like an old wife.

EPITON: Good, sir.

TOPHAS: Then a contrario sequitur argumentum. Give me a wife that looks like an old pippin.

EPITON: [Aside.] Nothing hath made my master a fool but flat scholarship.

TOPHAS: Knowest thou not that old wine is best?


TOPHAS: And thou knowest that like will to like?


TOPHAS: And thou knowest that Venus loved the best wine?


TOPHAS: Then I conclude that Venus was an old woman in an old cup of wine. For, est Venus in vinis, ignis in igne fuit.

EPITON: O lepidum caput, O madcap master! You were worthy to win Dipsas, were she as old again, for in your love you have worn the nap of your wit quite off and made it threadbare. But soft, who comes here?

{{[Enter Samias and Dares.]|}}

TOPHAS: My solicitors.

SAMIAS: All hail, Sir Tophas! how feel you yourself?

TOPHAS: Stately in every joint, which the common people term stiffness. Doth Dipsas stoop? Will she yield? Will she bend?

DARES: O, sir, as much as you would wish, for her chin almost toucheth her knees.

EPITON: Master, she is bent, I warrant you.

TOPHAS: What conditions doth she ask?

SAMIAS: She hath vowed she will never love any that hath not a tooth in his head less than she.

TOPHAS: How many hath she?


EPITON: That goeth hard, master, for then you must have none.

TOPHAS: A small request, and agreeable to the gravity of her years. What should a wise man do with his mouth full of bones like a charnel house? The turtle true hath ne'er a tooth.

SAMIAS: [Aside to Epiton.] Thy master is in a notable vein, that will lose his teeth to be like a turtle.

EPITON: [Aside to Samias.] Let him lose his tongue too, I care not.

DARES: Nay, you must also have no nails, for she long since hath cast hers.

TOPHAS: That I yield to. What a quiet life shall Dipsas and I lead, when we can neither bite nor scratch! You may see, youths, how age provides for peace.

SAMIAS: [Aside to Epiton and Dares.] How shall we do to make him leave his love? For we never spake to her?

DARES: [Aside to Samias.] Let me alone. [To Sir Tophas.] She is a notable witch, and hath turned her maid Bagoa to an aspen tree for betraying her secrets.

TOPHAS: I honor her for her cunning, for now, when I am weary of walking on two legs, what a pleasure may she do me to turn me to some goodly ass and help me to four!

DARES: Nay then, I must tell you the truth: her husband Geron is come home, who this fifty years hath had her to wife.

TOPHAS: What do I hear? Hath she a husband? Go to the sexton and tell him Desire is dead, and will him to dig his grave. Oh heavens, an husband? What death is agreeable to my fortune?

SAMIAS: Be not desperate, and we will help you to find a young lady.

TOPHAS: I love no Grissels; they are so brittle they will crack like glass, or so dainty that if they be touched, they are straight of the fashion of wax. Animus maioribus instat; I desire the old matrons. What a sight would it be to embrace one whose hair were as orient as the pearl, whose teeth shall be so pure a watchet that they shall stain the truest turquoise, whose nose shall throw more beams from it than the fiery carbuncle, whose eyes shall be environed about with redness exceeding the deepest coral, and whose lips might compare with silver for the paleness! Such a one if you can help me to, I will by piecemeal curtail my affections towards Dipsas and walk my swelling thoughts till they be cold.

EPITON: Wisely provided. How say you, my friends, will you angle for my master's cause?

SAMIAS: Most willingly.

DARES: If we speed him not shortly, I will burn my cap. We will serve him of the spades, and dig an old wife out of the grave that shall be answerable to his gravity.

TOPHAS: Youths, adieu. He that bringeth me first news shall possess mine inheritance.

[Exit Sir Tophas.]

DARES: [Turning to see Epiton.] What, is thy master landed?

EPITON: Know you not that my master is liber tenens?

SAMIAS: What's that?

EPITON: A freeholder. But I will after him.

SAMIAS: And we to hear what news of Endymion for the conclusion.

[Exeunt all.]

Scene V.3

The Tropical Royal Gardens of Cynthia's Palace

[Enter Panelion and Zontes.]

PANELION: Who would have thought that Tellus, being so fair by nature, so honorable by birth, so wise by education, would have entered into a mischief to the gods so odious, to the men so detestable, and to her friend so malicious?

ZONTES: If Bagoa had not bewrayed it, how then should it have come to light? But we see that gold and fair words are of force to corrupt the strongest men, and therefore able to work the silly women like wax.

PANELION: I marvel what Cynthia will determine in this cause.

ZONTES: I fear as in all causes: hear of it in justice and then judge of it in mercy. For how can it be that she that is unwilling to punish her deadliest foes with disgrace will revenge injuries of her train with death?

PANELION: That old witch Dipsas, in a rage, having understood her practice to be discovered, turned poor Bagoa to an aspen tree. But let us make haste and bring Tellus before Cynthia, for she was coming out after us.

ZONTES: Let us go. [Exeunt both Panelion and Zontes.]

Scene V.4

Template:''The Royal Audience Throne Chamber near the Tropical Royal Gardens of Cynthia's Palace''

[Enter Cynthia, Semele, Floscula, Dipsas, Endymion, Eumenides, Geron, Pythagoras, Gyptes, and Sir Tophas. A palm tree stands by the lunary bank.]

CYNTHIA: Dipsas, thy years are not so many as thy vices, yet more in number than commonly nature doth afford or justice should permit. Hast thou almost these fifty years practiced that detested wickedness of witchcraft? Wast thou so simple as not to know the nature of simples, of all the creatures to be most sinful? Thou hast threatened to turn my course awry and alter by thy damnable art the government that I now possess by the eternal gods. But know thou, Dipsas, and let all the enchanters know, that Cynthia, being placed for the light on earth, is also protected by the powers of heaven. Breathe out thou mayst words, gather thou mayst herbs, find out thou mayst stones agreeable to thine art, yet of no force to appall my heart, in which courage is so rooted, and constant persuasion of the mercy of the gods so grounded, that all thy witchcraft I esteem as weak as the world doth thy case wretched. This noble gentleman Geron, once thy husband but now thy mortal hate, didst thou procure to live in a desert, almost desperate. Endymion, the flower of my court and the hope of succeeding time, hast thou bewitched by thy art before thou wouldst suffer him to flourish by thy nature.

DIPSAS: [Kneeling with her chained hands on her lap.] Madam, the things past may be repented, not recalled. There is nothing so wicked that I have not done, nor anything so wished-for as death. Yet among all the things that I committed, there is nothing so much tormenteth my rented and ransacked thoughts as that in the prime of my husband's youth I divorced him by my devilish art, for which, if to die might be amends, I would not live till tomorrow. If to live and still be more miserable would better content him, I would wish of all the creatures to be the oldest and ugliest.

GERON: Dipsas, thou hast made this difference between me and Endymion, that, both being young, thou hast caused me to wake in melancholy, losing the joys of my youth, and him to sleep, not remembering youth.

CYNTHIA: Stay, here cometh Tellus. We shall now know all.

[Enter Corsites and Tellus, with Panelion and Zontes.]

CORSITES: [Aside to Tellus.] I would to Cynthia thou couldst make as good an excuse in truth as to me thou hast done by wit.

TELLUS: [Aside to Corsite.] Truth shall be mine answer, and therefore I will not study for an excuse.

CYNTHIA: Is it possible, Tellus, that so few years should harbor so many mischiefs? Thy swelling pride have I borne because it is a thing that beauty maketh blameless, which, the more it exceedeth fairness in measure, the more it stretcheth itself in disdain. Thy devices against Corsites I smile at, for that the wits the sharper they are, the shrewder they are. But this unacquainted and most unnatural practice with a vile enchantress against so noble a gentleman as Endymion I abhor as a thing most malicious, and will revenge as a deed most monstrous. [Turning to Dipsas.] And as for you, Dipsas, I will send you into the desert amongst the wild beasts, and try whether you can cast lions, tigers, boars, and bears into as dead a sleep as you did Endymion, or turn them to the trees as you have done Bagoa. But tell me, Tellus, what was the cause of this cruel part, far unfitting thy sex, in which nothing should be but simpleness, and much disagreeing from thy face, in which nothing seemed to be but softness?

TELLUS: Divine Cynthia, by whom I receive my life and I am content to end it, I can neither excuse my fault without lying nor confess it without shame. Yet were it possible that in so heavenly thoughts as yours there could fall such earthly motions as mine, I would then hope, if not to be pardoned without extreme punishment, yet to be heard without great marvel.

CYNTHIA: Say on Tellus. I cannot imagine anything that can color such a cruelty.

TELLUS: Endymion, that Endymion, in the prime of his youth so ravished my heart with love that to obtain my desires I could not find means, nor to resist them reason. What was she that favored not Endymion, being young, wise, honorable and virtuous? Besides, what metal was she made of, be she mortal, that is not affected with the spice, nay infected with the poison of that not-to-be-expressed yet always to be felt love, which breaketh the brains and never bruiseth the brow, consumeth the heart and never toucheth the skin, and maketh a deep wound to be felt before any scar at all be seen? My heart, too tender to withstand such a divine fury, yielded to love -- madam, I not without blushing confess, and yielded to love.

CYNTHIA: A strange effect of love, to work such an extreme hate. How say you, Endymion, all this was for love?

ENDYMION: I say, madam, then the gods send me a woman's hate.

CYNTHIA: That were as bad, for then by contrary, you should never sleep. But on, Tellus: let us hear the end.

TELLUS: Feeling a continual burning in all my bowels and a bursting almost in every vein, I could not smother the inward fire but it must needs be perceived by the outward smoke; and by the flying abroad of divers sparks, divers judged of my scalding flames. Endymion, as full of art as wit, marking mine eyes (in which he might see almost his own), my sighs (by which he might ever hear his name sounded), aimed at my heart (in which he was assured his person was imprinted), and by questions wrung out that which was ready to burst out. When he saw the depth of my affections, he swore that mine in respect of his were as fumes to Etna, valleys to Alps, ants to eagles, and nothing could be compared to my beauty but his love and eternity. Thus drawing a smooth shoe upon a crooked foot, he made me believe that (which all of our sex willingly acknowledge) I was beautiful, and to wonder (which indeed is a thing miraculous) that any of his sex should be faithful.

CYNTHIA: Endymion, how will you clear yourself?

ENDYMION: Madam, by mine own accuser.

CYNTHIA: Well, Tellus, proceed, but briefly, lest, taking delight in uttering thy love, thou offend us with the length of it.

TELLUS: I will, madam, quickly make an end of my love and my tale. Finding continual increase of my tormenting thoughts, and that the enjoying of my love made deeper wounds than the entering into it, I could find no means to ease my grief but to follow Endymion, and continually to have him in the object of mine eyes, who had me slave and subject to his love. But in the moment that I feared his falsehood, and fried myself most in mine affections, I found (ah grief, even then I lost myself), I found him in most melancholy and desperate terms, cursing his stars, his state, the earth, the heavens, the world, and all for love of --

CYNTHIA: Of whom? Tellus, speak boldly.

TELLUS: Madam, I dare not utter for fear to offend.

CYNTHIA: Speak, I say. Who dare take offense if thou be commanded by Cynthia?

TELLUS: For the love of Cynthia.

CYNTHIA: For my love, Tellus? That were strange. Endymion, is it true?

ENDYMION: In all things, madam. Tellus doth not speak false.

CYNTHIA: What will this breed to in the end? Well, Endymion, we shall hear all.

TELLUS: I, seeing my hopes turned to mishaps and a settled dissembling towards me, and an unmovable desire to Cynthia, forgetting both myself and my sex, fell unto this unnatural hate. For knowing your virtues, Cynthia, to be immortal, I could not have an imagination to withdraw him; and finding mine own affections unquenchable, I could not carry the mind that any else should possess what I had pursued. For though in majesty, beauty, virtue, and dignity, I always humbled and yielded myself to Cynthia, yet in affections I esteemed myself equal with the goddesses and all the other creatures, according to their states, with myself. For the stars to their bigness have their lights, and the sun hath no more. And little pitchers, when they can hold no more, are as full as great the vessels that run over. Thus, madam, in all the truth have I uttered the unhappiness of my love and the cause of my hate, yielding wholly to that divine judgment which never erred for want of wisdom or envied for too much partiality.

CYNTHIA: How say you, my lords, to this matter? But what say you, Endymion, hath Tellus told truth?

ENDYMION: Madam, in all things but in that she said I loved her and swore to honor her.

CYNTHIA: Was there such a time when as for my love thou didst vow thyself to death, and in respect of it loathed thy life? Speak, Endymion. I will not revenge it with hate.

ENDYMION: The time was, madam, and is, and ever shall be, that I honored Your Highness above all the world; but to stretch it so far as to call it love, I never durst. There hath none pleased mine eye but Cynthia, none delighted mine ears but Cynthia, none possessed my heart but Cynthia. I have forsaken all other fortunes to follow Cynthia, and here I stand ready to die if it please Cynthia. Such a difference hath the gods set between our states that all must be duty, loyalty, and reverence; nothing, without it vouchsafe Your Highness, be termed love. My unspotted thoughts, my languishing body, my discontented life, let them obtain by princely favor that which to challenge they must not presume, only wishing of impossibilities; with imagination of which I will spend my spirits, and to myself, that no creature may hear, softly call it love. And if any urge to utter what I whisper, then will I name it honor. From this sweet contemplation if I be not driven, I shall live of all men the most content, taking more pleasure in mine aged thoughts than ever I did in my youthful actions.

CYNTHIA: Endymion, this honorable respect of thine shall be christened love in thee, and my reward for it favor. Persevere, Endymion, in loving me, and I account more strength in a true heart than in a walled city. I have labored to win all, and study to keep such as I have won; but those that neither my favor can move to continue constant, nor my offered benefits get to be faithful, the gods shall either reduce to truth or revenge their treacheries with justice. Endymion, continue as thou hast begun, and thou shalt find that Cynthia shineth not on thee in vain.

[With her magical scepter pointing at him, Endymion's youthful looks are being beautifully restored to him.]

ENDYMION: [Smiling at Cynthia as he gently kissed her hand.] Your Highness hath blessed me, and your words have again restored my youth. Methinks I feel my joints strong, and these moldy hairs to molt, and all by your virtue, Cynthia, into whose hands the balance that weigheth time and fortune are committed.

CYNTHIA: What, young again? Then it is a pity to punish Tellus.

TELLUS: [Kneeling bravely before Cynthia's throne on the dais in repentence.] Ah Endymion, now I know thee and I ask pardon of thee. Suffer me still to wish thee well.

ENDYMION: Tellus, Cynthia must command what she will.

FLOSCULA: Endymion, I rejoice to see thee in thy former estate.

ENDYMION: Good Floscula, to thee also am I in my former affections.

EUMENIDES: Endymion, the comfort of my life, how am I ravished with a joy matchless, saving only the enjoying of my mistress!

CYNTHIA: Endymion, you must now tell who Eumenides shrineth for his saint.

ENDYMION: Semele, madam.

CYNTHIA: Semele, Eumenides? Is it Semele? The very wasp of all the women, whose tongue stingeth as much as an adder's tooth?

EUMENIDES: It is Semele, Cynthia, the possessing of whose love must only prolong my life.

CYNTHIA: Nay, sith Endymion is restored, we will have all the parties pleased. Semele, are you content after so long a trial of his faith, such rare secrecy, such unspotted love, to take Eumenides? -- Why speak you not? Not a word?

ENDYMION: Silence, madam, consents. That is most true.

CYNTHIA: It is true, Endymion. Eumenides, take Semele. Take her, I say.

EUMENIDES: Humble thanks, madam. Now only do I begin to live.

SEMELE: A hard choice, madam, either to be married if I say nothing, or to lose my tongue if I speak a word. Yet do I rather choose to have my tongue cut out than my heart distempered. I will not have him.

CYNTHIA: Speaks the parrot? She shall nod hereafter with signs. Cut off her tongue; nay, her head, so that, having a servant of an honorable birth, honest manners, and true love, will not be persuaded!

SEMELE: He is no faithful lover, madam, for then would he have asked his mistress.

GERON: Had he not been faithful, he had never seen into the fountain, and so lost his friend and mistress.

EUMENIDES: Thine own thoughts, sweet Semele, witness against thy words, for what hast thou found in my life but love? And as yet what have I found in my love but bitterness? Madam, pardon Semele, and let my tongue ransom hers.

CYNTHIA: Thy tongue, Eumenides? What shouldst thou live, wanting a tongue to blaze the beauty of Semele? Well, Semele, I will not command love, for it cannot be enforced. Let me entreat it.

SEMELE: I am content Your Highness shall command, for now only do I think Eumenides faithful, that is willing to lose his tongue for my sake; yet loath, because it should do me better service. Madam, I accept of Eumenides.

CYNTHIA: I thank you, Semele.

EUMENIDES: Ah, happy Eumenides, that has a friend so faithful and a mistress so fair! With what sudden mischief will the gods daunt this excess of joy? Sweet Semele, I live or die as thou wilt.

CYNTHIA: What shall become of Tellus? Tellus, you know Endymion is vowed to a service from which death cannot remove him. Corsites casteth still a lovely look towards you. How say you: will you have your Corsites and so receive pardon for all that is past?

TELLUS: [Rising at Corsites's side.] Madam, most willingly.

CYNTHIA: But I cannot tell whether Corsites be agreed.

CORSITES: Ay madam, more happy to enjoy Tellus than the monarchy of the world.

EUMENIDES: Why, she caused you to be pinched with the fairies.

CORSITES: Ay, but her fairness hath pinched my heart more deeply.

CYNTHIA: Well, enjoy thy love. But what have you wrought in the castle, Tellus?

TELLUS: Only the picture of Endymion.

CYNTHIA: Then so much of Endymion as his picture cometh to, possess and play withal.

CORSITES: Ah, my sweet Tellus, my love shall be as thy beauty is: matchless. [Corsites and Tellus kissed.]

CYNTHIA: Now it resteth, Dipsas, that if thou wilt forswear that vile art of enchanting, Geron hath promised again to receive thee; otherwise if thou be wedded to that wickedness, I must and will see it punished to the uttermost.

DIPSAS: Madam, I renounce both substance and shadow of that most horrible and hateful trade, vowing to the gods continual penance, and to Your Highness obedience.

CYNTHIA: How say you, Geron, will you admit her to your wife?

GERON: Ay, with more joy than I did the first day; for nothing could happen to make me happy but only her forsaking that lewd and detestable course. Dipsas, I embrace thee.

DIPSAS: And I embrace thee, Geron, to whom I will hereafter recite the cause of these my first follies. [They embraced and kissed.]

CYNTHIA: Well, Endymion, nothing resteth now but that we depart. Thou has my favor, Tellus her friend, Eumenides in paradise with his Semele, Geron contented with Dipsas.

TOPHAS: Nay, soft. I cannot handsomely go to bed without Bagoa.

CYNTHIA: Well, Sir Tophas, it may be there are more virtues in me than myself knoweth of, for Endymion I awaked, and at my words he waxed young. I will try whether I can turn this tree again to thy true love.

TOPHAS: Turn her to a true love or false, so she be a wench I care not.

CYNTHIA: Bagoa, Cynthia putteth an end to thy hard fortunes, for being turned to a tree for revealing a truth, I will recover thee again if in my power be the effect of truth.

[The aspen tree is being quickly transformed back into Bagoa.]

TOPHAS: Bagoa? A bots upon thee! [He runs over to carry her in his arms and happily kissed her.]

CYNTHIA: Come my lords, let us in. You, Gyptes and Pythagoras, if you cannot content yourselves in our court to fall from vain follies of philosophers to such virtues as are here practiced, you shall be entertained according to your deserts; for Cynthia is no stepmother to strangers.

PYTHAGORAS: I had rather in Cynthia's court spend ten years than in Greece one hour.

GYPTES: And I choose rather to live by the sight of Cynthia than by the possessing of all Egypt.

CYNTHIA: Then follow.

EUMENIDES: We all attend. [Exeunt all, led by Endymion and Cynthia who kissed and walked together hand in hand.]


A man walking abroad, the wind and sun strove for sovereignty: the one with his blast, the other with his beams. The wind blew hard; the man wrapped his garment about him harder. It blustered more strongly; he then girt it fast to him. 'I cannot prevail', said the wind. The sun, casting her crystal beams, began to warm the man; he unloosed his gown. Yet it shined brighter; he then put it off. 'I yield', said the wind, 'for if thou continue shining, he will also put off his coat'.

Dread sovereign, the malicious that seek to overthrow us with threats do but stiffen our thoughts and make them sturdier in storms. But if Your Highness vouchsafe with your favorable beams to glance upon us, we shall not only stoop, but with all humility lay both our hands and hearts at Your Majesty's feet.